Qatar's reforms in human rights win praise

Gulf Times
Publication date: 
Apr 08 2018

Chair of the Human Rights Committee of the European Parliament Antonio Panzeri praised the reforms carried out by Qatar for promotion of human rights, stressing that this approach will strengthen the position of the State in any forum on human rights at the international level.

"During our visit to the State of Qatar at the invitation of the National Human Rights Committee, we have seen positive developments in the field of human rights in terms of what has been achieved and what will be done in the future, allowing the possibility of complaints and grievances to be presented to the courts. We encourage Qatar to continue these reforms and we very much welcome the partnership agreement between the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs and the International Labour Organisation, which is positive," Panzeri said at a press conference on Sunday.

Panzeri also welcomed Qatar's accession to several international conventions related to the protection and promotion of human rights.

Meanwhile, the Chair of the Human Rights Committee of the European Parliament noted that his visit to Qatar enabled him to listen directly to the victims of the siege and to the testimonies of those affected by it.

In this context, Panzeri stressed that the policy of the siege, whatever its causes and types, has negative impacts on people and affects human rights, therefore it is incumbent to expose the destructive effects of any violations of these rights to the public opinion.

Panzeri said that he will convey the outcome of the discussions held during his visit to Doha, including the repercussions of the siege, to the European Parliament, which is very interested in all matters related to human rights, noting that the impacts of the siege are obvious, and will be discussed by the European Parliament.

Panzeri praised his discussions with officials of the National Human Rights Committee, officials of other parties concerned in the State and those concerned with the preparations for hosting the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, as well as representatives of the communities residing in Qatar, describing all these meetings as important, useful and positive.

He also highlighted the Committee's "A" rating by the United Nations for its credibility, which reflects the importance of its role in the field of human rights.

In order to deepen co-operation and consultation between the National Human Rights Committee and the European Parliament, Panzeri said that both sides agreed on a consultative agreement that allows the exchange of information and ideas and the use of data, in order to advance the work and continue the path of reforms, which will serve the interests of both sides.

In this regard, he expected to hold a joint hearing in the European Parliament, possibly before the month of Ramadan, with the chairman of the National Human Rights Committee, to discuss a range of issues and give the committee a stronger voice within the European Parliament. 

He also revealed that a delegation of the Qatari-European Parliamentary Friendship Association will visit Doha soon to discuss such issues.

Panzeri stressed that everyone should exercise human rights freely. In response to a question in this regard, he underlined that the right to perform Umrah and Haj is a basic human right and that the victims should uphold their rights and claim them even if political solutions were reached.