World Court Orders U.A.E. to Let Expelled Qataris Back In
The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the UN, has ordered the United Arab Emirates to allow the return of Qatari citizens expelled from the country last year.
The United Arab Emirates was ordered by the highest UN court on Monday to immediately allow Qatari families to reunite, imposing a measure before it hears in full a discrimination case filed by Qatar in June.
Judges at the International Court of Justice said the UAE must also allow Qatari students to complete their educations.
The three main points
- Allow family reunion of mixed families
- Qatari students have the right to complete their education in the UAE or to obtain their documents if they want to complete their education elsewhere
- Guarantee the right of Qataris to access tribunals in UAE
The filing by Qatar at the ICJ accuses the UAE of human rights violations as a result of the blockade against Qatar enacted last year, by enacting measures including expelling Qataris and closing UAE airspace and seaports to Qatar.
According to Qatar, which filed the suit in June, the UAE has as part of the blockade expelled thousands of Qataris, blocked transport and closed down the offices of the Doha-based Al-Jazeera news channel.
“Many Qataris residing in the UAE appeared to have been forced to leave their place of residence without the possibility of return,” the judges’ ruling said.
“There is an imminent risk that the measures adopted by the UAE could lead to irreparable prejudice to the rights invoked by Qatar.”
Qatar’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Lulwa al-Khater, welcomed the ruling.
“This is only the first step on a long road to defend our rights, but at the same time this sends an early strong signal that there will be no tolerance shown to countries that take arbitrary measures against Qataris,” she said in Arabic language comments published by state news agency QNA.
The court found that mixed UAE-Qatari families have been separated, Qatari students have been deprived of the opportunity to complete their education, and Qataris have been denied equal access to justice.
“The court concludes that the conditions required by its statute for it to indicate provisional measures are met,” it said.
The ICJ is the United Nations venue for legal disputes between states. Its verdicts are binding.
Final verdicts generally take years and no date was set for the case to be heard in full.