June 30, 2017
Authorities in Qatar must revoke the travel ban imposed on prominent human rights lawyer Dr. Najeeb Al-Nuaimi, says the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR).
On 26 June 2017, Capital Security Administration informed Dr. Al-Nuaimi that the travel ban previously imposed on him on 07 January 2017 has been renewed despite the fact that the Appeal Court in Qatar revoked it on 30 May 2017.
On 07 February 2017, authorities in Qatar prevented Dr. Al-Nuaimi from travelling without informing him about any possible reasons. Reports received by GCHR confirmed that the Attorney General of Qatar, Ali Al-Marri, has placed Dr. Al-Nuaimi on the list of individuals who are not allowed to travel outside the country – without any prior clarification or directing any charges against him.
Dr. Al-Nuaimi is a well-known human rights lawyer who voluntarily defended prisoners of conscience in Qatar including poet Mohamed Rashid Al-Ajami. Al-Ajami was handed down a life sentence in 2011, which was reduced to 15 years in prison, and he was only released in 2016 after serving five years in prison because of a poem he wrote.
He describes himself on his website as “instrumental in the use of international human rights conventions and treaties to advance such issues in the country, as well as in the GCC region.”
GCHR expresses serious concern over the ongoing travel ban imposed on Dr. Najeeb Al-Nuaimi without any prior knowledge or justification. GCHR expresses further concern at the targeting of the very small number of independent human rights defenders and journalists in Qatar who are able to undertake their work, which they do peacefully and legitimately. Qatar must take steps to expand the ability of civil society to address human rights concerns such as freedom of expression, women’s rights, migrant rights and access to justice; and sustain the working environment for civil society engagement, both national and non-national.