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Qatar files discrimination complaint against UAE

June 12, 2018

The tiny gulf nation state of Qatar has filed a discrimination complaint agains the United Arab Emirates. In taking the UAE to court it claims that it's people have been discriminated against.

Den Haag Friedenspalast Internationaler Gerichtshof
Image: picture-alliance/Daniel Kalker

The government of Qatar on Monday took the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations' International Court of Justice (ICJ), and accused it of human rights violations as a result of a boycott enacted last year.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a boycott on Qatar in June 2017. They severed diplomatic and transport ties with the tiny, rich state, accusing it of supporting terrorism.

Karte Countries that severed ties with Qatar ENG

Qatar denies the allegations and says the pressure is aimed at stripping it of its sovereignty.

"As set forth in detail in Qatar's application to the International Court, the UAE led these actions, which have had a devastating effect on the human rights of Qataris and residents of Qatar," the government said in a statement.

Anwar Gargash, the UAE's minister of state for foreign affairs, in a post on Twitter, dismissed the claims as another of the Qatar government's "lies."

The government of Qatar said the UAE enacted a series of measures that discriminate against Qataris, among which are having them expelling them from the UAE, prohibiting them from entering or passing through the UAE, ordering UAE nationals to leave Qatar, and closing UAE airspace and seaports to Qatar.

Qatar said it believed the actions were in violation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) — including discrimination on the basis of nationality — of which the UAE and Qatar are both signatories.

Egypt, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are not signatories of the CERD convention.

A long list of complaints

The complaint filed by Qatar late on Monday, accuses the United Arab Emirates of discriminating against Qataris in UAE by limiting their freedom of speech and movement. The complaint also says that the UAE incited hatred against them, shut down the local offices of Qatar's state-funded Al Jazeera television station and blocked transmission of Qatari media outlets.

Qatar is asking the court to order the UAE to take steps to comply with its obligations under the CERD, including ceasing and revoking the measures and restoring the rights of Qataris.

It also requested that the UAE make reparations, including compensation,. However it provided no details of the amount it might be seeking.

The court's registry confirmed late on Monday it received the complaint. It is the first step in a dispute which the court may hear. The court typically solicits opinions from both sides as to whether it has jurisdiction before considering the merits of a case, a process that often takes years.

av/rc (AP, Reuters)

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