aat for Peace, Development and Human Rights submitted a complaint to the United Nations special procedures, especially the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders & the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, regarding the Qatari authorities’ prevention of the Qatari citizen and businessman, Abdullah Ahmed Al-Muhannadi, from travelling abroad since 2013 without mentioning any reasons for this ban. Before the travel ban decision, Mr. Al-Muhannadi has been arbitrarily detained for three weeks.
In this complaint, Maat pointed to the arbitrary measures and the continuous abuse that Al-Mohannadi is subjected to by the Qatari authorities, especially since the Qatari authorities have closed his case, and he is still banned from traveling for nearly seven years.
Ayman Okeil, the president of Maat, said that the Qatari authorities’ decision to arrest Abdullah Al-Mohannadi and preventing him from traveling abroad violates all international conventions and agreements signed by Qatar, especially Articles 12 and 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), (recently ratified by Qatar in accordance with Decree No. 40 of 2018), as well as the pledges and recommendations it voluntarily accepted during the third review of its human rights file at the United Nations Human Rights Council, as part of the universal periodic review process, which recommends the Qatari government to allow Qatari citizens to express their opinions freely.
Okeil added that the Qatari authorities use national laws and legislations in order to undermine human rights and restrict the basic freedoms of citizens. He further explained that Qatari legislation contains vaguely-worded provisions and broad terms that are open to various interpretations by the public prosecutors and judges appointed by the Emir of the country, who may use it as a tool to restrict freedom of speech and expression, and crackdown citizens.