NHRC expresses concern over forced disappearance of 2 Qatari citizens in Saudi
August 21 2019 11:32 PM
National Human Rights Committe (NHRC), Doha
National Human Rights Committe (NHRC), Doha

QNA Doha

*70-year-old Ali Nasser Ali Jarallah and his 17-year-old son Abdulhadi were arrested on Aug 18 in the Eastern Province but their present whereabouts are unknown
*Immediate release of the Qataris, who had entered Saudi Arabia on a family permit on Aug15, demanded

The National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) said it has received credible information about the enforced disappearance of 70-year-old Qatari national Ali Nasser Ali Jarallah and his 17-year-old son Abdulhadi in Saudi Arabia, pointing out that the two Qatari citizens had entered Saudi Arabia under a family permit on August 15, 2019.

In a statement on Wednesday, the NHRC said that the information received indicates that the Qatari citizen and his son were forcibly disappeared at 1pm on Sunday, August 18, in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, where they were arrested by the Saudi authorities and kept at an undisclosed location.

The NHRC condemned the enforced disappearance of the Qatari citizen and his son, and said the act violates all international and regional covenants, especially Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 14 of the Arab Charter on Human Rights. "It is a clear violation of their rights to freedom and security."

The committee expressed its concern about this enforced disappearance, especially as the Saudi authorities have recently adopted a policy of enforced disappearance of a number of Qatari citizens due to the political crisis.

Holding Saudi Arabia fully responsible for the life, physical health and safety of Qatari national Ali Nasser Ali Jarallah and his son Abdulhadi, the NHRC has demanded that the Saudi authorities disclose their fate and release them immediately.

It also urgently called upon the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances and the Human Rights Council to intervene immediately to stop these systematic and gross violations against Qatari citizens.

According to Amnesty International , victims of enforced disappearance are people who have literally disappeared; from their loved ones and their community. They go missing when state officials (or someone acting with state consent) grab them from the street or from their homes and then deny it, or refuse to say where they are.

"Sometimes disappearances may be committed by armed non-state actors, like armed opposition groups. And it is always a crime under international law."

Amnesty said in many cases such people are not released and their fate remains unknown. "Victims are frequently tortured and many are killed, or live in constant fear of being killed. They know their families have no idea where they are and that there is little chance anyone is coming to help them. Even if they escape death and are eventually released, the physical and psychological scars stay with them."

Also, family and friends of people who have disappeared experience slow mental anguish, Amnesty said. Not knowing where he or she is being held, or how they are being treated adds to the mental agony of the people close to the victims, the NGO said.

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