City Centre buildings and Corniche traffic, Doha, Qatar. Image Credit: Agency

Manama: A Bahraini lawmaker said that he would formally submit a petition to the public prosecutor for legal action against the government of Qatar for its “blatant and clear implication in supporting terror groups against Bahrain.”

MP Jamal Bu Hassan said he would file the petition following the Eid Al Adha holidays.

Public institutions were given six days off on account of the occasion that would end on Tuesday.

The MP told Bahraini Arabic daily Akhbar Al Khaleej he would present the request in the name of the people of Bahrain since he was a parliament deputy for the people.

The 40 lawmakers in the Council of Representatives, the lower chamber of the bicameral parliament, are elected in quadrennial polls.

“The petition will include the extent of the damage caused to Bahrain and Bahraini citizens as a result of Qatari support for terrorism and extremist groups,” he said. “The focus will be on the victims of terrorism who include martyrs and the wounded, but there will also details about how the Bahraini economy was greatly affected by Qatar’s support for terrorism.”

The lawmakers said that Qatar’s actions against Bahrain were well-documented and there was evidence of its support for terrorism that is punishable under international laws.

“The government of Qatar must be prosecuted, especially with regard to the damage it caused to Bahrain and Bahrainis and to the economy and businesses which is estimated at billions. We must call on the government of Qatar to compensate for these losses, since this is mainly the legal responsibility of the people’s representatives. The actions of the Qatari regime violated all local, regional and international covenants.”

Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt severed their diplomatic relations with Qatar on June 5 over its support for extremists and funding of terrorism.

Bahrain television broadcast phone conversations of senior Qatari officials meddling in the dramatic events that hit the country in 2011, prompting calls by lawmakers to take legal action against Qatar.

Last month, First Deputy Speaker of the Council of Representatives Ali Al Aradi called for lodging an international lawsuit against the government of Qatar for its direct involvement in supporting radical groups in the kingdom.

The lawmaker said that Bahrain should move ahead with the legal action and claim compensation from Qatar for all those affected by its support for radical groups and terrorism.

“The radical groups have been involved since 2011 in the acts of violence, terrorism and incitement,” Al Aradi said.

Bahrain should set up a central committee to receive complaints from affected people and to assess the losses inflicted upon the nation and citizens due to Qatar’s support for terrorism and extremist groups, he added in a media statement.

He stressed the importance for the panel to document all cases and corroborate them with compelling evidence and figures proving the extensive damage incurred due to Qatar’s harbouring of terrorist groups.

Al Aradi said a legal team of experts should file cases and sue Qatar for its blatant interference in Bahrain’s internal affairs, breach of good neighbourliness and violation of national, regional and international legal covenants.

“Consultations and contacts are underway at the Council of Representatives to undertake adequate legal action against the government of Qatar and claim compensation,” he said, adding that steps would be unveiled soon.

“The extent of the Qatari flagrant interference and involvement in the acts of terrorism in Bahrain is exposed through compelling facts and evidence.”

Al Aradi said that the terrorist attacks, supported by the Qatari government, have left dozens dead, including policemen, and thousands injured and incurred business losses. He urged to expedite legal action to claim compensation from the Qatari government for its subversive role and support for radical and terrorist groups.

The lawmaker also urged legal accountability, stressing the need to seek the assistance of Interpol to bring the accused to trial.

Al Aradi said that the Council of Representatives has a responsibility to protect national interests, citizens, traders, the security forces and the civil society from any subversive trends seeking to undermine security and destabilise the country.

“The Council of Representatives will not waive the rights of the state, citizens and residents. It is our responsibility, as lawmakers, to claim compensation for the losses incurred due to the Qatari-supported terrorism.”

Al Aradi stressed the intention to go beyond media pressure and take local and international legal action.

“The Qatari government’s subversive policies and support for terrorism and radical groups are punishable by international law. Anyone who takes part in terrorist attacks, supports them, incites or finances them is considered as a war criminal and should stand trial before the International Criminal Law. The representatives of people will not remain passive while our beloved Kingdom is targeted. The masks have fallen, just like the allegation by the Qatari authorities about Bahrain’s stability and prosperity. The Qatari claim that it was engaged in mediation efforts no longer fools anyone, especially since it has no right or justification to do so.”