(MENAFN- Gulf Times)
Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) Dr Ali bin Smaikh al-Marri has called on the European Parliament to seriously consider the human rights violations caused by the siege imposed on Qatar.
Al-Marri called for a hearing for representatives of those affected by the crisis and international human rights organisations.
He urged the European Parliament MPs to send a fact-finding mission and submit a report to the European Union on the humanitarian crisis due to the blockade.
Al-Marri said the siege countries have failed to respond to the calls of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and human rights organisations and hence the European Parliament must act urgently to end the injustice suffered by the victims.
The NHRC chairman called on the MPs to submit a recommendation to the EU countries on the urgent need to stop the tragedy of thousands of citizens and residents of Gulf countries and to force the siege countries to respond to international appeals.
He said no matter how acute political differences are, there is no justification for ignoring the sufferings of the victims whose fundamental rights had been suppressed for nearly five months.
"We respect the political positions of the EU countries, but at the same time we find no political, legal or moral explanation or justification for the neutrality towards the current crisis," especially when human rights are violated, he said.
Al-Marri said he visited the European Parliament in June, during the first days of the siege, and he returned to it again to raise the alarm because the human suffering has been severely exacerbated, adding that statements and condemnations are no longer enough.
He also called on the European Parliament and the EU to put more pressure on the siege countries to respond to the appeals of civilian victims.
Al-Marri added that while the statements suggest that the political crisis may be prolonged, "we will not allow the siege countries to continue to punish the people of the Gulf Co-operation Council."
The NHRC chief praised the positions of the European Union, calling at the same time for strong action by the parliament and the European Union because prolonging the crisis threatens the international peace and security.
He called on the MPs from the European Parliament to send a fact-finding mission to meet with those directly affected by the siege as has been done by lawmakers from Britain and the US.
A delegation from the Italian parliament and a United Nations technical mission are expected to arrive in Doha next month, he said.
The NHRC chief met on Wednesday at the headquarters of the European Parliament in Strasbourg with the head of the Qatari-European Friendship Group Ramona Manescu, the vice-chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Parliament Anders Primdahl and chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights Pier Antonio Panzeri.
He briefed the officials and MPs of the European Parliament on the grave humanitarian impacts of the siege and the continued sufferings of the victims due to the crisis.
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