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Swiss lawyers to represent Qatar in legal case over Saudi siege

28 June 2017 23:36

A human rights group in Qatar has announced that it will hire lawyers from Switzerland to file complaints against its Arab neighbors of the Persian Gulf region over a siege they have imposed on the emirate.

Qatar’s National Human Rights Commission said Wednesday that the lawyers would be employed to pursue a legal action against Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain over their move to cut ties with Qatar which has effectively put the country under a land, air and sea blockade.

“We’ll be coordinating to start legal action with those affected by these sanctions,” the chairman of the top rights group, Ali bin Smaikh al-Marri, said, adding, “The three countries are responsible to compensate those affected.”

Marri said many Qataris, including those who own properties and businesses in the three countries or families who have parents from Qatar and one of the three neighboring states, qualified for compensation.

“Some cases will be filed in courts in those three countries and in some courts that have international jurisdictions, like in Europe, related to compensation,” he said, without elaborating on which Swiss law firm would be employed to take the cases. Marri said a statement would be released in the near future to elucidate the decision.

Led by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and the Maldives, announced on June 5 that they will suspend all of their political, economic and diplomatic ties with Qatar in response to the emirate’s alleged support of terrorist groups. Qatar has denied the allegations while maintaining that it is paying the price for its independent foreign policy.

All Qataris living in those countries have been ordered to leave. Sources in Doha have said that the expulsions have affected many with one senior official claiming recently that most Qataris own “two or three properties and a villa” in Saudi Arabia alone.

Last week, Saudi Arabia and its allies laid down a list of 13 demands for Qatar to meet by July 3. Qatar has rejected many of the terms as foreign interference.

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