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Gulf / Qatar dispute: Human dignity trampled and families facing uncertainty as sinister deadline passes

Thousands of people in the Gulf face the prospect of their lives being further disrupted and their families torn apart as new arbitrary measures announced by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the context of their dispute with Qatar are due to come into force from today, said Amnesty International. The three Gulf states had given their citizens the deadline of 19 June to leave Qatar and return to their respective countries or face fines and other unspecified consequences.

Date:
19 June 2017
  • News
  • Bahrain
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Families ripped apart, freedom of expression under attack amid political dispute in Gulf

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are toying with the lives of thousands of Gulf residents as part of their dispute with Qatar, splitting up families and destroying peoples’ livelihoods and education, Amnesty International said today. The organization’s researchers have interviewed dozens of people whose human rights have been affected by a series of sweeping measures imposed in an arbitrary manner by the three Gulf countries in their dispute with Qatar.

Date:
9 June 2017
  • News
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • Detention

Qatar: Activist at risk of torture after deportation to Saudi Arabia

The government of Saudi Arabia must immediately release the imprisoned Saudi Arabian human rights activist Mohammad al-Otaibi, who is at serious risk of torture, said Amnesty International. On the night of 24 May, the persecuted activist was en route to Norway, where he had been granted refugee status, when Qatari authorities arrested him in Doha airport and deported him back to Saudi Arabia. “Forcibly returning Mohammad al-Otaibi to Saudi Arabia under the guise of judicial cooperation, where he risks torture and an unfair trial, is a shameful and inhuman act on the part of the Qatari authorities and a blatant violation of international law.

Date:
30 May 2017
  • News
  • Qatar
  • Migrants

Qatar: Abuse of migrant workers remains widespread as World Cup stadium hosts first match

Migrant workers on Qatar 2022 World Cup construction sites continue to suffer abuse and exploitation, Amnesty International said today as the country’s flagship football venue hosts the first match since its redevelopment. Companies involved in the renovation of Khalifa International Stadium subjected their workers to systematic labour abuse which Amnesty International exposed last year. The stadium will be inaugurated on Friday evening – one month after independent auditors published fresh details of ongoing exploitation of migrant workers across World Cup projects.

Date:
18 May 2017
  • Blog
  • Middle East and North Africa

FIFA's chance to show they put people ahead of money is now

After a tumultuous few years of corruption allegations, internal upheaval and human rights abuses linked to its events, FIFA is no stranger to controversy. Its choice of Bahrain, a country where football has been inextricably linked with politics and protest as a location for this week’s meetings of the FIFA Council and Congress, may raise further eyebrows. In 2011 national footballing stars alleged that they had been tortured after taking part in popular protests alongside tens of thousands of other Bahrainis.

Date:
11 May 2017
  • News
  • Qatar
  • Human Rights Defenders and Activists

Qatar must not deport human rights activist at risk of torture and persecution in Saudi Arabia

The Qatari authorities must not buckle to demands from Saudi Arabia if they request the deportation of human rights activist Mohammad al-Otaibi back to the country, where he is at risk of being imprisoned and tortured or otherwise ill-treated, said Amnesty International, ahead of a hearing by a Saudi Arabian court scheduled for Tuesday 25 April. Mohammad al-Otaibi, a peaceful activist, and founder of a local human rights organization, is being tried in his absence before Saudi Arabia’s Specialized Criminal Court on a list of ludicrous charges.

Date:
20 April 2017
  • News
  • Qatar
  • Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

UN agency must keep up pressure on Qatar as government’s migrant labour reforms fall short

The International Labour Organization (ILO)’s governing body must continue to scrutinize Qatar’s record on migrant labour abuse, Amnesty International said, ahead of a crucial 21 March decision on a complaint brought by trade unions against the Gulf state. Last week the government stated it had “repealed” its controversial sponsorship law, including the requirement that migrant workers obtain an exit permit from their employers to leave the country.

Date:
17 March 2017
  • Research
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • Business and Human Rights

Qatar - New name, old system? Qatar's new employment law and abuse of migrant workers

Qatar has been under intense international scrutiny for its treatment of migrant workers since being awarded the rights to host the 2022 World Cup. Particular focus has been placed on the notorious 2009 sponsorship law, which ties workers to their employers, putting them at risk of forced labour. In December 2016, this law is being replaced. This briefing examines whether its replacement, Law No. 21 of 2015, will make any significant improvement to the lives of workers in the country.

Date:
12 December 2016
Ref:
MDE 22/5242/2016
  • News
  • Qatar
  • Business and Human Rights

Qatar: Migrant workers still at risk of abuse despite reforms

New law barely scratches the surface of labour exploitation Bosses can still trap World Cup and other workers in Qatar FIFA must push for real change Changes to labour laws in Qatar barely scratch the surface and will continue to leave migrant workers, including those building stadiums and infrastructure for the World Cup, at the mercy of exploitative bosses and at risk of forced labour, said Amnesty International in a new briefing published today.

Date:
12 December 2016
  • News
  • Qatar
  • Censorship and Free Speech

GCC summit: Systematic clampdown on freedom of expression in Gulf

The appalling human rights records of states in the Gulf must not be swept under the carpet when member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) gather in the Bahraini capital, Manama, this week (6-7 December) for their annual summit, said Amnesty International today. Human rights will be notably absent from the agenda at the annual meeting when the six GCC states - Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) - come together to discuss trade and security cooperation, with no mention of the widespread crackdown witnessed across the region on the grounds of security.

Date:
5 December 2016
  • News
  • Qatar
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Qatar: Blocking of Doha News website ‘an outright attack’ on media freedom

In response to the news that access to Doha News, Qatar’s leading independent English language daily news site has been blocked to internet users inside the country, James Lynch, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Global Issues said: “This is an alarming setback for freedom of expression in the country. Deliberately blocking people in Qatar from accessing a legitimate news website would be an outright attack on media freedom.

Date:
1 December 2016
  • Research
  • Brazil
  • Censorship and Free Speech

Wire Magazine July-September 2016: International Day of the Disappeared

From Brazilian youths who are taking to boxing as a route out of the violence sullying Rio’s Olympics, to the Nepali migrants who risk so much for a better and safer life, hope fills the pages of this edition of WIRE. Features include the results of our survey on people’s attitudes to refugees, China’s crackdown on human rights lawyers, and a special focus on 30 August, the International Day of the Disappeared.

Date:
4 July 2016
Ref:
NWS 21/4217/2016
  • News
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • Unfair Trials

Qatar: Upholding torture-tainted convictions exposes “deep flaws” in justice system

The convictions of three Filipino nationals on charges of espionage were yesterday upheld by Qatar’s Court of Cassation. The Court upheld one life term and two sentences of 15 years’ imprisonment. James Lynch, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle and North Africa programme, said:  “The court’s decision to uphold the convictions of these three men, after an unfair trial in which the authorities totally failed to investigate credible allegations of torture, is the latest demonstration of the deep flaws in Qatar’s criminal justice system, particularly as regards its treatment of migrant workers”.

Date:
3 May 2016