Have you missed the most important political stories of this week on the GCC crisis? Scroll all the way down to get the updates on the latest developments in the ongoing Gulf crisis.
And here's what happened two weeks before: GCC Crisis Updates Week 165. (there were no GCC Crisis Updates for the last two weeks).
Qatar, on Wednesday, accused the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague, which is the United Nations top court, of causing "maximum suffering" on Qataris as part of the blockade against Qatar, according to a Qatar Tribune report.
According to Qatar, the measures that have been taken by the UAE since the diplomatic GCC crisis began on 5 June 2017 is a breach of the UN treaty against racial discrimination.
Both Doha and Abu Dhabi are arguing before the ICJ about whether the tribunal has the jurisdiction to deal with this case. Mohammed Abdulaziz Al-Khulaifi, who is representing Qatar in this case, told the court
"The UAE seeks to avoid the jurisdiction of this court because it seeks to avoid the truth.
"This dispute is about the UAE's punitive discriminatory measures, which are intended to bend Qatar to the UAE's political will by inflicting maximum suffering on the Qatari people.
"The UAE's actions go to the very core of the evil the convention was designed to eradicate." (Qatar Tribune)
It is expected that the ICJ would come to a decision within the next few months whether the case would go ahead or not. However, there is a possibility that the final judgement may actually take years, and while the rulings of the ICJ are final, the court doesn't have any means of enforcing the rulings.
So far, the case has been in Qatar's favour; in 2018, the ICJ ordered UAE to take emergency measures that would ensure the rights of Qatari citizens would be protected.
The US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker has expressed his hope that there would be a solution to the Gulf crisis and praised Kuwait's mediation under the wise leadership of the Kuwaiti Emir His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, based on a report in the Gulf Times.
In a press video-conference held between Schenker and the Kuwaiti media while visiting Kuwait, he emphasised on the negative impact of the Gulf dispute on the ability to confront threats facing the region. He also noted that the US's efforts were not far from the Kuwaiti effort when it came to coordination. Schenker also praised the strong and strategic relations between the US and Kuwait, and also appreciated the efforts of Kuwait on global and regional issues.
Ghada Oueiss believes that someone from Saudi Arabia photoshopped her picture with her colleague Mahmoud Murad, and placed an image of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the place where Mahmoud Murad was standing, making it look like Ghada was with Netanyahu.
هذه الصورة التي عدّلها ذباب ولي العهد السعودي فوضع صورة نتنياهو بدل الزميل محمود مراد تثبت حجم الهراء والغباء والكذب والفبركة الذي تسبح فيه دول الحصار 🤮👎 pic.twitter.com/aIh2SfdNXi— Ghada Oueiss غادة عويس (@ghadaoueiss) August 31, 2020
This is not the first time Ghada has been harassed like this and subjected to cyberbullying and a coordinated campaign against her on social media. Just recently, someone stole her personal pictures from her phone, photoshopped them and posted them on Twitter with offensive, misogynistic and false claims that the photos were taken at the private residence of Al Jazeera Media Network’s Qatari chairman, Sheikh Hamad Bin Thamer Al-Thani. The photoshopped pictures were tweeted more than 40,000 times, according to an opinion article by Ghada in the Washington Post.
A Saudi called Saoud Bin Abdulaziz Algharibi has been active since the year 2013 on Twitter and almost all the Saudi accounts that had been attacking Ghada, most of Algharibi’s Twitter timeline has tweets that praise the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS). Most of these accounts that abuse Ghada have, either a picture of MBS, the Saudi flag or Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed. Emirati and Saudi public figures that comprise of Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, a close associate of the Emirati crown prince Hamad Al-Mazroui, former Dubai Police head Dhahi Khalfan and Naif Al-Asaker a mufti at the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs have amplified the posts that attack Ghada, and this has let to the general public in Saudi Arabi and the UAE to join in on the cyber assault of the Al Jazeera Arabic journalist
Qatar to start its one-week pleadings before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the case against the United Arab Emirates related to the UAE's violation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, according to QNA.
Qatar is officially represented before the court by a team of legal experts led by Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Al Khulaifi, head of the legal team, and the Dean of the College of Law at Qatar University.
The Qatari pleading sessions come in response to the initial objections made by the UAE regarding the court's lack of jurisdiction to consider the Qatari request.
On 29 April 2019, the UAE raised initial objections claiming that the court has no jurisdiction in the case and that Qatar's request is unacceptable to consider its case and that the UAE has not violated its international obligations.
It should be noted that the case was filed by Qatar as a result of the discriminatory measures imposed by the UAE in June 2017 in a joint decision with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Arab Republic of Egypt, and the four countries imposed an illegal land, sea and air blockade on Qatar within the framework of a campaign of political and economic coercion.
On 11 June 2018, Qatar had filed a lawsuit against the UAE before the ICJ. On the same day, Qatar also asked the court, as a matter of urgency, to indicate temporary measures to protect Qatar and Qatari citizens from the racial discrimination imposed by the UAE, specifically on families, students, and property owners in the UAE. This is what prompted Qatar to initiate trial procedures because it firmly believes that violations of human rights arising from the behaviour of the UAE fall under the provisions of the International Convention against All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
On 23 July 23 , the ICJ issued an urgent ruling in favour of Qatar, approving several temporary measures requiring the UAE to guarantee family reunification for Qatari - Emirati families, the right to education, and access to courts.
On 22 March 2019, the UAE submitted a similar and urgent request for the court to approve a set of interim measures to preserve what it called its procedural rights until the court issues its final decision on the issue of the case. On 14 June 2019, the court overwhelmingly rejected the UAE's request.
Furthermore, Qatar is also pursuing its complaint before the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in Geneva against both Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which had been rejected on 29 August 2019, unanimously, the initial objections to its jurisdiction filed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and it formed two committees to look into the subject and examining all evidence in preparation for issuing their final report on the Qatari complaint.
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