Hillel Neuer
International human rights lawyer, writer & activist

UNHRC chair on Qatar: “I see no objection”

Testimony by UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer at UN Human Rights Council adoption of its report on Qatar’s human rights record, September 19, 2014

Thank you, Mr. President.

Today we ask: Does the cause of human rights support — or object — to the adoption of today’s UN Human Rights Council report on Qatar’s human rights record?

Let me read from the report:

  • “China appreciated the efforts expended by Qatar to promote and protect human rights”
  • “Bangladesh praised Qatar for the progress made in empowering women”
  • “Iran commended Qatar on its integrated social development, and for improving the situation of women”
  • “Sudan applauded the steps taken by Qatar”
  • “Turkey commended the progress achieved by Qatar in human rights”

Mr. President,

No less than 78 out of the 84 country statements in this report offer praise for the human rights record of Qatar. That’s over 90 percent.

Yet the truth, Mr. President, is the opposite.

Let us be clear:

The truth is that the 1.4 million migrant workers in Qatar object to this report because they are dying at the rate of one a day from inhuman conditions. At the current pace, more than 4,000 migrant workers will die to build the infrastructure for Qatar’s 2022 World Cup.

The truth is that the women of Qatar object to this report because they are denied basic rights to equality, for example denied the right to be elected to the Shura legislative council.

The truth is that journalists and aid workers who are abducted by the ISIS terrorist group and face beheading object to this report. In the words of Germany’s development aid minister, Gerd Mueller, from August 20th: “Who is financing these troops? Hint: Qatar.”

The truth is that the Palestinians, Israelis and other victims of Hamas war crimes — their exploitation and targeting of civilian populations, mosques, hospitals and schools — object to this report. As one Arab diplomat said to the FDD, as quoted in its testimony before the U.S. Congress, “Qatar finances Hamas strongly.”

Mr. President,

For all of these reasons, let me be clear: the victims of human rights abuse around the world object to the adoption of this report.

Thank you, Mr. President.

[…]

President of UNHRC Session: May I now propose that the Council adopt the decision of the UPR on Qatar as appears on screen. I see no objection. The decision is adopted.

About the Author
Hillel Neuer is executive director of UN Watch, a non-governmental human rights organization in Geneva, Switzerland. An international lawyer, Neuer has been described by the Tribune de Genève as a human rights activist who is “feared and dreaded” by the world’s dictatorships. Israel's Ma’ariv newspaper ranked Neuer as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Jewish People in the World.” Hillel Neuer is a renowned speaker who has published widely, testified before the United Nations and the U.S. Congress, and appeared on CNN, BBC, and Al Jazeera. On September 14, 2016, the City of Chicago adopted a resolution declaring “Hillel Neuer Day” in recognition of his work as “one of the world’s foremost human rights advocates.” In June 2018, McGill University awarded Neuer with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree, citing his work as “an innovator” in “creating global platforms for courageous dissidents and champions of human rights from around the world,” and for being “a passionate advocate for human rights, fighting tirelessly against discrimination, torture, and injustice."
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