Qatar: National Human Rights Committee's Subordination to the Executive Undermines its Capacity to Publicly and Freely Address Human Rights Violations
On 16 July 2015, Alkarama submitted a report to the Sub-Committee on Accreditation (SCA) of the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (ICC-NHRI) on Qatar's National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) which will be reviewed at the SCA next session on 16-20 November 2015. Pointing out to its subordination to the executive power, Alkarama called upon the SCA to downgrade Qatar's NHRC status from "A" to "B" to indicate its lack of compliance with the Paris Principles – the international standards established to ensure the NHRIs independence from the government and effective promotion and protection of human rights. In its review of the Qatari NHRI, the SCA will assess, among others, its pluralist representation of society, its independence from the government and the scope of its mandate.
Rachid Mesli is to remain under house arrest in Aosta at least until next Monday 31 August, time by which the deadline for the Algerian authorities to formally request his extradition expires. If the Italian justice does not receive any formal request by then, the case will be considered as closed and Me Mesli will be able to go back to Geneva to continue his work as Legal Director of Alkarama, the human rights organisation he co-founded in 2004 to assist victims of severe human rights violations in the Arab World.
On 14 August 2015, Alkarama referred the case of the Al Souid family, executed by General Khalifa Haftar's forces in the city of Benghazi on 15 October 2014, to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extra-judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions (SR SUMX) and the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The Italian justice has ordered today the release of Rachid Mesli, pending his appearance, on Tuesday, before the Turin Court of Appeal, which will have to rule on the extradition request following the arrest warrant issued by the Algerian authorities in 2002.
The Italian authorities are currently detaining Alkarama's Legal Director, Rachid Mesli, in the Italian prison of Aosta. Me Mesli was arrested at the Swiss-Italian border on Wednesday 19 August 2015 on the basis of an arrest warrant issued by the Algerian authorities in April 2002, which claims that he "had contacts with terrorists in Algeria" and was "a member of a terrorist group operating outside Algeria." Alkarama deplores the arrest, on political grounds, of its Legal Director, and in particular the role played by Interpol into all this.
UAE: Prominent Activist Naser Bin Ghaith Goes Missing After Abduction by State Security on 18 August 2015
On 20 August 2015, Alkarama sent an urgent appeal to the United Nations Working Group on Enforced Disappearances (WGEID) regarding the case of Naser Bin Ghaith, a prominent economist, academic and advocate for political reforms, who disappeared following his arrest by the UAE State Security forces on 18 August 2015. Alkarama is extremely concerned over his fate, in particular that he is at high risk of torture and ill-treatment, considering the systematic use of torture in secret detention in the UAE.