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Posted On: 20 February 2019 01:00 pm
Updated On: 3 April 2019 12:58 pm

Qatar blockade victims talk to European Parliament about their suffering

ILQ Staff
ILQ Staff
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European-parliament

The European Parliament (EU) heard at its premises in Belgian capital, Brussels, today, for the first time, live and horrific testimonies by two of the victims of the unjust blockade imposed on Qatar and three others who have also been victims of Saudi, UAE and Bahraini violations of human rights.

The victims were Qatari national Dr. Wafaa Yazidi, a victim of family disintegration, Qatari student Jawahar Mohammed Al Meer, who was expelled from the Sorbonne University in Abu Dhabi, and Khadija Genghis, the fiance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was assassinated inside the consulate of his country in Istanbul, Briton Matthew Hedges, who was jailed in Abu Dhabi and sentenced to life imprisonment before his subsequent release after British authorities intervened, along with Ali al-Aswad, a member of the Bahraini parliament sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment.

The five victims of this historic public session at the European Parliament, which attracted a strong presence of EU members of Parliament and the international media, criticized the violations of the human rights by the blockading countries , especially those involving the governments of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain:

They described the positions of the European Union and Western countries in general about the violations that affect them as negative and futile , blaming the Governments of those States of being silent on the basis of political interests or, at best, at the very best of official condemnations, which did not deter the blockading States from stopping their violations.

The victims of the blockade called on the governments of the European Union and the European Parliament to adopt stronger and more effective positions to stop the grave human rights violations affecting citizens and residents in Qatar since its imposition, as well as the violations against many citizens held in UAE, Saudi and Bahraini prisons.

Dr. Wafaa Yazidi, one of the victims, spoke before the European Parliament about her suffering, which is part of the suffering of thousands of mothers. since the blockade began, she is a divorced Qatari woman and her children are Bahraini. They can no longer speak to their families in Bahrain, The countries of the blockade through laws that prevent sympathy with the Qataris, even within the same family. She pointed out that the blockade has dispersed families, in addition to the prevention of Hajj (Pilgrimage) and Umrah by the Saudi authorities:

She appealed to all European parliamentarians, especially women to support them and others like them, especially as they are not responsible for political differences.

Speaking also at the session was Jawahar al-Meer about her suffering after being expelled from the Sorbonne University in Abu Dhabi, despite her academic superiority, under the pretext of severing political relations with Qatar. She expressed her confidence that she will find those who listen to her and that the European Parliament can do something to stop the suffering of thousands of victims like her.

Chairman of Subcommittee on Human Rights Antonio Panzeri stressed commitment of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to defend human rights issues in various countries of the world, including victims of human rights violations resulting from the Gulf crisis, pointing out that the European Parliament will spare no effort to lift the blockade imposed on Qatar.

Panzeri stressed that the European Parliament will not allow the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to erase the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, no matter how he tried to market himself in international capitals and foreign visits, because there is a fact to be revealed.

The hearings witnessed were heated and transparent in which a number of MEPs called for a halt to the arming of Saudi Arabia for human rights violations. They pointed out that the European Parliament had voted three times to prevent the sale of weapons, but some governments were still making deals with the Saudi regime.

MEPs stressed the need to move forward to stop the violations of Saudi Arabia and the UAE in Yemen, and those resulting from the blockade of Qatar, warning that human rights is a universal principle, and must be defended everywhere.

Also, they warned that Europe will bear the consequences of violations resulting from the blockade of Qatar if it did not move to put an end to it, adding that the repercussions of this blockade are not sufficiently discussed within the European Parliament.

Additionally, MEPs stressed their commitment to go further in the face of Saudi and UAE violations after a resolution that classifies Saudi Arabia as a country accused of supporting terrorism and money laundering. Other MEPs said that Saudi intelligence was involved in the 11 September attacks. Imagine if another country that does not own the oil has been proven involved in these events, how would it have been dealt with, a member of the European Parliament asked.

Chairperson of Delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula Michele Alliot-Marie said that the organisation of a hearing for victims of human rights violations resulting from the Gulf crisis came after a visit to the headquarters of the NHRC in Doha, where she met with HE Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee Dr. Ali bin Smaikh Al Marri, who expressed hope that the victims will be able to speak before the European Parliament about the repercussions of the violations resulting from the blockade of Qatar.

She added that the European Parliament is always discussing human rights issues in the Gulf region, including the Yemeni crisis, because that is an important factor, and part of its tasks, especially with respect to the protection of human rights.

Moreover, HE President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani met with Khadija Genghis, fiance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was assassinated inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Chairman of Subcommittee on Human Rights Antonio Panzeri confirmed during a press conference the commitment of the European Parliament to follow up the investigation into the assassination of Khashoggi until the circumstances of this heinous crime are revealed. (QNA)

Cover image credit: World Youth Alliance