Amnesty condemns actions of UAE against Qatar
Amnesty International yesterday condemned the blockade measures taken by Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain against Qatar, which has led to splitting up families and destroying people’s livelihoods and education, saying that these countries are toying with the lives of thousands of Gulf residents as part of their dispute with Qatar.
Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Global Issues Programme James Lynch said:
“For potentially thousands of people across the Gulf, the effect of the steps imposed in the wake of this political dispute is suffering, heartbreak and fear”.
“These drastic measures are already having a brutal effect, splitting children from parents and husbands from wives. People from across the region not only from Qatar, but also from the states implementing these measures risk losing jobs and having their education disrupted,” he added.
Lynch added: “All the states involved in this dispute must ensure their actions do not lead to human rights violations.”
Amnesty International has documented several cases of people cut off from parents, children and spouses as a result.
One of the cases documented by the organisation is about a Qatari man, who has lived in the UAE with his family for more than 10 years, and was refused entry and sent back to Qatar as he tried to return home to Dubai from Doha, just after the measures were announced on 5 June.
His wife is an Emirati national and is therefore forbidden from travelling to Qatar, while his children are Qatari nationals and so are required to leave UAE.
He is now separated from his family and does not know when he will next see them.
He described to Amnesty International how his wife had pleaded with the duty officer to see her husband one last time. “The officer said, no way just go back,” he said.
He told Amnesty International that he fears his employers in the UAE will dismiss him from his job since he cannot return and because of his nationality.
In another case, a Saudi Arabian man, who lives in Doha with his Qatari wife, told Amnesty International that he is unable to visit his mother, who is seriously ill in hospital in Saudi Arabia, because if he did he would not be able to return to Qatar to be with his wife and children: “I go home, I cant see my wife. I stay here, I cant see my mum.”
Amnesty International also interviewed several Qatari students concerned they could not continue their education in the UAE and Bahrain.
The organisation also condemned the decision of Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain on harshly punishing citizens and residents who show sympathy for Qatar.