Browsing 'Politics' News

Video still

Dr. Najeeb Al Nuami

A prominent lawyer and former justice minister of Qatar has asserted that a new travel ban against him is “politically motivated.”

Dr. Najeeb Al Nuami has been unable to leave Qatar since Jan. 8, when he received an SMS alerting him about the ban.

Speaking to Doha News, Al Nuami said he was told that the prosecutor’s office is seeking to charge him with professional misconduct.

However, on Twitter he said that “the travel ban on me has no legal basis.”

He also told an Egyptian newspaper that the ban appeared to be a punishment for the political stances he has taken over the years.

Outspoken critic

Al Nuami served as the country’s Minister of Justice from 1995 to 1997, and is now an outspoken critic of the government.

He has defended several high-profile cases over the years, including the Qatari poet who was jailed (and eventually pardoned) for allegedly insulting the Emir; Saddam Hussein and prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.


Pardoned Qatari poet Mohammed Al-Ajami

Speaking to Doha News yesterday, he said the travel ban was a “gross abuse of prosecutorial power” and has made it difficult for him to work, as he has several clients abroad.

However, he remained defiant, adding that officials in Qatar now “have the international community to answer to.”

“The authorities think they can pressure me like this. But I don’t and won’t bow in the face of this or any other pressures,” Al Nuami said.

What happened

It remains unclear exactly why Al Nuami was banned from leaving Qatar.

But he said he was told a complaint was filed against him by an Omani businessman who alleged that he abused his attorney-client privilege.

However, Al Nuami argued that the man had been forced to file that complaint after being tortured by security officers over a conflict he had with a prominent Qatari.

That complaint was later rescinded, Al Nuami said.

News of the travel ban has already caught the eye of some human rights groups.

Amnesty International told Doha News that it was concerned to hear of the travel ban and is seeking further information.


Chantelle D'mello / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Qatar’s national carrier has said it will drop special screening of travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries to the US for now.

The move by Qatar Airways and several other airlines comes after a US judge halted a temporary travel ban on nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

In a statement yesterday, Qatar Airways said:

“As directed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), nationals of the seven affected countries listed below and all refugees seeking admission presenting a valid, unexpired U.S. visa or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) card (Green Card) will be permitted to travel to the United States and will be processed accordingly upon arrival.”

Previously, the airline said it would not allow travelers without certain visas to continue on their journeys.

Uncertain circumstances

More than 100,000 people have been affected by the new immigration restrictions in the two weeks since US President Donald Trump instituted the ban.

This has included students, professionals and refugees, among others.

The president said the temporary policy was for safety reasons, but many have criticized it for unfairly targeting Muslims.

Gage Skidmore/ flickr

US President Donald Trump

Last week, Qatar’s own foreign minister urged the US to “do the right thing” and said a Muslim ban “is something we will stand against.”

However, the UAE’s foreign minister defended the ban a few days ago, calling it an “American sovereign decision.”

The Trump administration has appealed the judge’s ruling and it remains unclear what will happen next.



Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani

Qatar is against the new temporary immigration restrictions that have been implemented in the US, the nation’s foreign minister has said.

President Donald Trump last week implemented a 90-day ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries, sparking chaos at airports and protests around the world.

The nations are Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.

Since Friday, hundreds of people have been turned away upon arriving at airports in the US. 

Some have been sent back to Qatar, whose national carrier flies directly to 15 US cities from Doha.

‘Stand against’

Responding to reporter’s questions while visiting Serbia yesterday, Qatar’s foreign minister said he hopes American officials will reassess the move and “do the right thing” about it, AP reports.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani added:

“When it comes to be addressed in a Muslim framework, I think this is something we will stand against.”

According to Al Sharq, Al Thani’s Serbian counterpart did not express similar sentiments.

Ivica Dačić instead reportedly said that Serbia does not want to “interfere in the internal affairs of other countries.”