Qatar takes UAE to ICJ over year-old boycott

Fatma Lotfi
2 Min Read
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), by breaking off not only diplomatic but also economic relations with Qatar, are likely to make it this time round far more difficult for the Gulf state to resist pressure to change its controversial policies.

Qatar on Monday said that it filed a case against the UAE at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over alleged “human rights violations,” a year after an economic boycott was imposed by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain on their Arabian Gulf neighbour.

In June last year, the three gulf states and Egypt severed diplomatic and trade ties with the small oil-rich country over accusations of supporting terrorism, claims Qatar repeatedly denied. 

“As set forth in detail in Qatar’s application to the International Court, the UAE led these actions, which have had a devastating effect on the human rights of Qataris and residents of Qatar,” the Qatari government’s statement read.

Qatar accused the UAE of violating its obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and its Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), which monitors the convention’s implementation.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain, as well as other boycotting countries, are not signatories to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

Qatar claimed that the UAE implemented a series of measures that “discriminate against Qatar’s citizens,” including “expelling them from the UAE, prohibiting them from entering or passing through the UAE, ordering UAE nationals to leave Qatar, and closing UAE airspace and seaports to Qatar.”

For his part, Anwar Gargash, the UAE’s minister of state for foreign affairs, said via Twitter that Qatar’s decision to go to the ICJ is not “surprising” as it previously “told lies” regarding other issues. 

At the end of May, the small wealthy nation announced banning goods originating from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates. Following the economic boycott imposed by its neighbours, it found itself forced to import basic goods from other countries, such as Iran and Turkey.

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A journalist in DNE's politics section with more than six years of experience in print and digital journalism, focusing on local political issues, terrorism and human rights. She also writes features on women issues and culture.
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