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Qatar: prominent human rights lawyer Dr. Najeeb Al-Nuaimi travel banned
May 3rd 2018
The International Observatory for Lawyers in Danger (OIAD) strongly denounces the travel ban imposed on Dr. Najeeb Al-Nuaimi, prominent human rights lawyer and former Minister of Justice for the State of Qatar.
Dr. Al Nauimi is one of the region’s most reputed legal authority and former Minister of Justice for the State of Qatar. He has been at the forefront of judicial reforms, in particular in human rights developments in the country.
Dr. Al-Nuaimi was closely associated with the protection of the rights of the detainees held in Guantanamo Bay. He was appointed as the Chairman of the Committee for the Defence of Detainees at Guantanamo and personally represented 93 of the detainees.
Between 2011 and 2012, Dr. Al-Nuaimi represented Mohammed Rashid al-Ajami, a Qatari poet who was sentenced to life imprisonment. Dr. Al-Nuaimi defended his fundamental right of freedom of expression allowing the poet to be released in March 2016.
On February 7th 2017, authorities in Qatar prevented Dr. Al-Nuaimi from travelling. He then found out that the travel ban order had been issued by the General Prosecutor on January 7th 2017, without providing reason or charges against him.
Despite the fact that the Appeal Court in Qatar revoked his ban on May 30th, the Capital Security Administration informed Dr. Al-Nuaimi that the travel ban previously imposed on him has been renewed.
On April 28th, Dr. Al-Nuaimi released a statement explaining that “the Attorney General, with government approval, has continued to flagrantly violate the principles of the Constitution and Qatari laws”. He declared he was ready to use all legal means available to revoke this ban.
The OIAD calls on Qatari authorities to respect the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, adopted by the United Nations in Havana, Cuba, in 1990, which provides that:
“Governments shall ensure that lawyers (a) are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference; (b) are able to travel and to consult with their clients freely both within their own country and abroad; and (c) shall not suffer, or be threatened with, prosecution or administrative, economic or other sanctions for any action taken in accordance with recognized professional duties, standards and ethics.” Principle 16.
“Lawyers shall not be identified with their clients or their clients’ causes as a result of discharging their functions.” (Principle 18);
The OIAD urges the authorities in Qatar to revoke the travel ban imposed on Dr. Najeeb Al-Nuaimi immediately and without any conditions.
The OIAD calls the authorities in Qatar to guarantee Dr. Najeeb Al-Nuaimi the ability to perform his professional duties freely and independently, ending any form of intimidation or harassment against him.