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UN report on Qatar crisis lacks objectivity

Report avoided any mention of Qatar’s involvement in terrorism and promoting radicalism

Gulf News

Manama: The United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Technical Mission to Qatar failed to be neutral or objective in its understanding and assessment of the Qatar crisis and its context, a leading Bahraini analyst has said.

“The report was not neutral, included unfounded accusations and embraced Qatar’s position based on false claims that Doha seeks to promote regionally and globally,” Hamad Al Amer, the former Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry Undersecretary for Regional and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Affairs, said.

“The OHCHR report avoided highlighting Qatar’s involvement in terrorism, funding it, supporting its activities and promoting its radical ideology that incites violence and promotes hate speech in the Arab region. For such purposes, Qatar uses satellite channels that host both Qataris and non-Qataris, provides funds for extremists and appoints them in high positions so that they can enter GCC countries with Qatari passports.”

The GCC, established in 1981, comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt on June 5 severed their diplomatic and trade relations with Qatar after they accused it of supporting extremists and funding terrorism.

Qatar has claimed that the Quartet had placed it under a blockade with negative consequences on its people.

AN OHCHR technical delegation visited Qatar on November 17-24 and issued a report, “On the impact of the Gulf Crisis on human rights’ on January 8.

The Quartet in a joint statement rapped the report as biased, non-neutral and deficient and insisted that the measures they adopted were based on safety and security concerns and did not in any way target the people of Qatar.

“There is a clear systemic flaw that includes a misleading description of the political crisis and its historical background,” Al Amer said. “There is also a blatant lack of neutrality since the other countries were not informed about the report prior to its publication, as required by professional approaches in such sensitive issues.”

Al Amer who served as Bahrain’s ambassador in several capitals added that Doha had exploited the visit by the UN commission tasked with transferring expertise to develop the human rights organisation and address rights violations in Qatar.

“In fact, Qatar worked on using the visit politically and through the media in a manner that confirms its manipulation and lack of credibility in dealing with United Nations agencies and its intent on misleading the international community,” he said.

Some UN agencies no longer work according to their objectives, especially the principle of non-interference in any Member State’s internal affairs, he added.

“Unfortunately, this is happening in the UN Security Council and the Human Rights Council that have become tools to achieve the goals of countries with power and influence in the Council or of countries that have permanent, strategic and commercial interests with one of the permanent members on the Security Council,” Al Amer said.

“Qatar has been using its money to mislead the world public opinion and regional as is clear when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in his opening remarks at the inaugural US-Qatar strategic dialogue meeting in Washington on Tuesday. The meeting is a violation of the US-GCC Strategic Partnership set up to address regional challenges collectively.”

An example of the UN bias is how the OHCHR report failed to treat the countries involved in the Qatar crisis equally and turned a supposedly technical mission into a political stance that supports Qatar and ignores the rights of the other countries, Al Amer said.

“I had the impression the UN report was issued by an official Qatari entity.”

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