EOHR receives a response from the High Commissioner on the issue of the Qatari tribe “El-Ghofran”

May 19th, 2019 by Editor

EOHR receives a response from the High Commissioner on the issue of the Qatari tribe “El-Ghofran”

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) has received a response from the High Commissioner on the issue of the members of Qatari tribe “El- Ghufran”, which were deprived from their nationality by the Qatari authority for no reason.

The text of the letter as follows:

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights sends its greetings to the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (Eohr) and refers to your previous letter of 30 January 2019 concerning the case of 13 members of the “Al-Ghufran” tribe, in which you requested the High Commissioner to address the Qatari authorities regarding depriving them from their nationalities after having obtained their consent to put the matter with the Qatari authorities.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) would like to inform the Egyptian Organization that it has addressed the National Committee for Human Rights in Qatar, which followed up with the competent authorities there.
The competent authorities responded through the National Committee for Human Rights in Qatar that they are not stateless, additionally; they already have a nationality other than the Qatari nationality, which is considered a dual nationality as well as it violates the laws and regulations of the State of Qatar. “

It is noteworthy that “El-Ghufran” tribe descend from “Al-Marah” tribe, one of the oldest tribes that inhabited Qatar for hundreds of years and it has been in a strong relationship with “Al-Thani” since the time of the first founder, Sheikh Qasim bin Mohammed and his successor from the ruling family.
Since Prince Khalifa bin Hamad Al-Thani came to power in 1972 after a year of independence, it has opened the door for anyone who has the desire to acquire the Qatari nationality from relatives of tribes and well-known families in the state without asking about their former nationality. Therefore, many individuals from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Iran, Yemen and other countries have acquired the nationality, settled in the state and were not asked to abandon their former nationalities.
The tribe members in Qatar continued to participate in the development of the country until 1996, according to the elders of the tribe. That year, Qatar’s former prince, Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, seized power after a coup against his father, Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad al-Thani.
After the coup, a number of members of “El-Ghufran” tribe supported the father in his efforts to restore the power, which led to the accusation of some elders of the tribe and some of its members working in the police and the army for trying to overthrow the new government.
The case of “El-Ghufran” members in 2005 has witnessed a major turning point, after Qatar withdrew its nationality from citizens belonging to this tribe, in a process that reached 972 heads of the family and included all their family members respectively. The total number of persons that was deprived from the Qatari nationality has reached 5266 individuals.
Furthermore, the Qatari authorities have justified this step by saying that the Qatari law prohibits dual nationality. Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani said that his country had not signed the GCC security agreement for years until it included the clause on preventing dual nationality adopted by the Gulf Cooperation Council that aimed to reduce the spread of the phenomenon of terrorism, considering that raising their case as a human rights issue is to employ what happened to achieve certain goals that are unrelated to the humanitarian issue.
Additionally, some citizens who have been subjected to the withdrawal of nationality considered that talking about the illegality of dual nationality is only an excuse. One of the victims described this excuse as a “lie and slander”, asserting that many citizens and members of the tribes of Qatar still retain the nationalities of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Iran alongside their Qatari nationality. However, the authorities did not take any action against them. Consequently, what they are subjected to is a “racial discrimination” and “ethnic cleansing”.

For his part, Dr Hafez Abu Saeda, the president of the Egyptian Organization, said that a series of effective measures must be taken by Qatar in order to rectify the situation of the people of this tribe because what is happening against them is racial discrimination based on the tribe, which is prohibited by international law.

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