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Qatar: Arrest of Sultan Khulaifi and three other Qatari nationals

On 1 March 2011 at nine o'clock at night, a number of state security agents raided the house of Mr. Sultan Khalifa Al Khulaifi in Doha. After searching his house and car for two hours, he was taken to an unknown place by the State Security agents.

A female officer who was accompanying the agents informed the wife of Mr. Khulaifi that they were sent by the Attorney General, but without they were unable to produce any judicial warrant justifying the decision.

Alkarama fears that the arrest of Mr. Sultan Khalifa Al Khulaifi is as a result of his human rights activities. We were recently contacted by him regarding three cases of arbitrary detention in Qatar, which Alkarama has transmitted to the Qatari authorities in the hope that they will release them. The three names are the following: Abdullah Ghanem Mahfouz Muslim Jouar, Salim Hassan Khalifa Rashid Al Kuwari and Hamad Rashid Al-Marri.

Mr. Al Khulaifi served as Secretary-General of the Alkarama Foundation until the beginning of 2010, before leaving to found a new organization for the defense of human rights.

Alkarama reminds that human rights defenders and others who collaborate with the United Nations human rights mechanisms, are particularly protected by the United Nations and indeed the Human Rights Council adopted resolution 12/ 2 on 1 October 2009 "Cooperation with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights" to protect human rights defenders active both inside and outside their countries.

Alkarama calls on the Qatari authorities to respect their obligations under this resolution and requests that they immediately release Mr Sultan Al Khulaifi and those arrested with him or immediately put them under the protection of the law, ensuring full respect for their human rights.