Qatar on Monday said it brought a case against the United Arab Emirates at the U.N.’s top court, accusing its Gulf rival of human rights “violations” and “discrimination.”
Last year on June 5, Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., Bahrain and Egypt abruptly severed ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism and Iran. Doha denies the claims. They also took several measures, including barring the state-owned airline from using their airspace and expelling Qatari residents from their territories. Saudi Arabia closed its land border with Qatar.
On Monday the Qatari foreign ministry denounced “human rights violations arising from the U.A.E.’s discrimination against Qatar and Qatari citizens.” It also condemned “an unlawful land, sea and air siege against Qatar as part of a campaign of political and economic coercion.”
“The unlawful measures imposed by U.A.E. have torn apart families,” the ministry said in a statement quoting Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani. “The U.A.E. deprived Qatari companies and individuals of property and assets and denied fundamental access to education, medicine and justice in the U.A.E. courts,” he added.
Because of this, the ministry said, Qatar had started proceedings against the U.A.E. at the Hague-based International Court of Justice, the U.N.’s top court which rules in disputes between countries.
Qatar requested that the ICJ “order the U.A.E. to take all steps necessary to comply with its [international] obligations… including by ceasing and revoking the discriminatory measures and by restoring the rights of Qataris.”
Doha cited the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), which it and the U.A.E. have both signed.
Qatar is also demanding “full reparation, including compensation, for the harm suffered as a result of the U.A.E.’s violations of CERD,” the statement added.
On the eve of the June 5 anniversary of the dispute, Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee released a report claiming more than 4,000 human rights abuses had been committed against Qataris by the Saudi-led alliance in the past year. Qataris have been exposed to arbitrary arrest and routinely denied freedom of movement, the report by the government-appointed body said.
Diplomatic efforts led by Kuwait and the United States to defuse the yearlong crisis have failed.
Qatar has said that the dispute is an attack on its sovereignty and punishment for pursuing an independent foreign policy.