The ongoing land, sea and air blockade imposed on the state of Qatar as well as the arbitrary measures taken by the Saudi authorities are restricting the right to freedom of belief and freedom to practice religious rights.
These restrictions include the prevention of the pilgrims of Qatar from entering Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah during the last month of Ramadan, and expelling residents and citizens of Qatar who were already there at that time, and with regard to the obstacles placed by the Saudi authorities restricting the right to perform Hajj “Fifth Pillar of Islam” of citizens and residents of Qatar.
Qatar National Human Rights Committee expresses its deep concern at the persistence in putting obstacles by the Saudi authorities to restrict the right to perform religious rituals by residents and citizens of Qatar, including the difficulties facing pilgrims of Qatar, reported by campaigners of Hajj and Umrah in Qatar, as well as the prohibition of remittance transactions by the Saudi authorities between the Qatari campaigns and the Saudi Umrah agents authorized to grant Umrah permits, which emphasizes the continuation of politicizing the religious rituals by the Saudi authorities, in violation of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 30 of the Arab Charter on Human Rights, Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 6 of the Gulf Cooperation Council Human Rights Declaration.
Accordingly, the National Human Rights Committee reiterates its call on the competent authorities in Saudi Arabia not to use religious rites as a political leverage in flagrant violation of international human rights conventions, and calls upon the international community, human rights organizations and the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief to promptly move to stop these persistent violations of the right to freedom of belief and freedom to practice religious rites to serve political interests.
The National Human Rights Committee also notes that it will raise the latest developments on this issue to all parliaments and international and regional human rights organizations and that it will resort to the Human Rights Enforcement Mechanisms of the United Nations to ensure the enjoyment of the right to freedom of religious practice as a fundamental human right.