Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has sought to reassure its citizens of their safety after a local newspaper here published a report claiming three Qataris had been detained and tortured in the UAE.
On Sunday, Al Arab reported:
“Abu Dhabi inhumanely arrested three Qatar citizens who were traveling to the UAE for tourism and to visit their relatives. There is information that the three citizens are currently being tortured in prison.”
The report caused a swift reaction on Twitter, with people taking to social media to ask for more information about the issue.
Though it would not confirm whether any Qataris had been recently detained while visiting the UAE, the foreign affairs ministry published a brief update on its website yesterday.
It stated that the Consul General of Qatar had met with the Dubai Police Commander in Chief this week to discuss “bilateral ties and ways of developing them in all fields.”
MOFA also sought to calm down agitated tweeters last night, posting:
الدولة لم تتخل يوماً عن أبنائها وهي تتخذ كل الإجراءات عبر القنوات القانونية والدبلوماسية. #قطر #الخارجية
— الخارجية القطرية (@MofaQatar_AR) July 6, 2014
Translation: “The State has never abandoned its people. It is taking all the necessary action through legal and diplomatic channels.”
Unhappy with the ambiguity of this message, one tweeter responded:
@MofaQatar_AR انتم مقصرين بحقوق المواطنين بتوضيح صورة مايجري للقطريين بالامارات وعدم جدية موقفكم لعامة الشعب فهذه ثالث حالة تتكرر الان
— Ali Al Qayed (@AHAlQayed) July 6, 2014
Translation: “You are falling short on explaining exactly what happens to Qataris in the Emirates. You are not taking your role seriously before the Qatari people. This is the third case.”
Others were more appreciative:
Translation: “This is what we expect from you, our government. We have all the trust in our rulers and their efforts. May God protect our children and Qatar.”
MOFA also said:
الجهود التي تبذلها وزارة #الخارجية لا يتم الإعلان عنها إلا بعد انتهائها. #قطر
— الخارجية القطرية (@MofaQatar_AR) July 6, 2014
Translation: “The efforts exerted by MOFA are not disclosed until they are finalized.”
@MofaQatar_AR نتمنى الإعلان عنها حتى يرتاح الشارع القطري
— قطر خط أحمر (@ellaq6r) July 6, 2014
Translation: “We hope that they (MOFA’s efforts) are announced so that the Qatari people can be reassured.”
For its part, Al Arab urged Qatari citizens to avoid traveling or transiting through the UAE “because of the danger of arrest and detention that this poses.”
That advice prompted some ridicule on Twitter:
من تكون صحيفة العرب القطرية لتحذر المواطنيين القطريين من السفر إلى الإمارات هل اصبحت تتحدث عن الوزارة@MofaQatar_AR pic.twitter.com/rtrEs0DdPl
— ✪ عاشق الوطن (@ashquae) July 6, 2014
Translation: “Who is this Al-Arab newspaper to warn citizens not to travel to the Emirates? Is it now the spokesman for the ministry?”
The relationship between Qatar and the UAE have hit many bumps over the past year.
This in part due to the detention and conviction of Dr. Mahmood Abdulrehman Al Jaidah, who in March was sentenced to seven years in a UAE jail for “financially and morally supporting” members of the Muslim Brotherhood, a charge he denied.
Emirati authorities first detained Al Jaidah in February 2013 as he was making a transit stop at the Dubai International Airport en route to Doha from Bangkok. Human rights groups condemned the doctor’s treatment, saying he was denied due process and tortured in prison.
Qatar and the UAE also do not appear to see eye-to-eye on the political situation in Egypt, which analysts cite as the reason the UAE has not returned its ambassador to Qatar after recalling him in March.
Though tensions were thought to have been smoothed over, in April, a senior Emirati security official drew scorn after tweeting that Qatar should be the UAE’s eighth emirate.
That Qatar will not formally confirm whether any new nationals have been jailed in the UAE suggests the matter is being handled through diplomatic channels before tension gets any higher.
This is the most hated statement on radio and In the newspapers in Qatar
“bilateral ties and ways of developing them in all fields.”
So and so in the government met someone in another country who is high up and this is what they did. Pointless. If you are not going to tell me what they talked about don’t tell me at all, not interested. When the roll call of Al Thani names takes 5 minutes to end with that pointless statement, it is a waste of mine and everyone else’s time.
As for the story, all is not well with the GCC brothers.
I’ll never forget the first time I heard one of these on the radio; the 5 minute introduction of names and titles created such a buildup that I really thought this must be the news story of the year I’m about to hear, what luck I’m listening to the radio at the time of whatever monumental announcement is about to follow!! Then it ended with “met to discuss economic ties”….
Hmmmm..okay…. what does that mean?
Then I heard the next announcement and figured out how it goes.
It is so patronising and insulting. I wish they would just stop it and tell us nothing. Someone please tell me the Arabic stations are much more informative.
Doubtful… we were curious about the same thing so my husband went on an Arabic site last night and did google translate (google, you are AWESOME). The verdict? Same exact nonsense… at least I don’t feel left out.
Generally speaking the radio is pretty much the same
Usually they just say “discussed matters of mutual concern”. Stupid and pointless. Heard one newscasts where there were 6 such “mutual concerns” meetings. The 6pm newscasts on the day of villagio fire led with 3 of those.
You’re kidding me… ugh on the day of the Villagio fire, that is what they were wasting everyone’s time with?? I was living in Asia then, but very aware of the Villagio fire because I was working on a project to be built in Qatar and half my team was already based in Qatar. I’m not kidding I think we had better news coverage of that event in Asia, appalling.
By the way, discussing “mutual concerns” is about the vaguest of these BS announcements. It’s like, no shi!t sherlock, if it wasn’t mutually concerning then they wouldn’t be discussing it… but tell us more!
I just replied to you, but it’s on hold waiting to be approved by DN….oh boy… what have I done now? I swear it’s not offensive! Let’s see if it goes through.
“all is not well with the GCC brothers” now that’s an understatement!
But their top guys tell me they are all great friends and nothing will come between them. Please don’t tell me it is not true…. Then I can’t believe any thing any more.
But if I can’t trust them, then who can I trust?!?! I feel like the world as I know it is crumbling down around me, WOE IS ME!!
And the kids at my sons school are now trying to tell me santa and the easter bunny are not real…the sky is falling..
Took away their civil rights and made them break rocks in the hot sun?
Is anyone else as confused as heck by this article as I am?? Before we talk about whether there was or was not torture, can someone just tell us, do these 3 men even exist? Were there in fact 3 Qataris detained in UAE?
Al Arab says there are. Qatar will not officially confirm – hence the confusion.
It must be nice in this day and age that an editor has the opportunity to re – explain what’s been explained. Confusing indeed
Maybe Qatar is secretly pleased.
Ah, a plot twist!
You may think that but I could not possibly comment………
I love a good F. U. quote. Such a great tv show!
You are wise my friend!!!
Imprisoning woman because they have a baby out of wedlock is ok but this is not??????
What 8 comments?! That’s it!? Where’s the tie in to hosting the world cup!!? You can do better, shame on us all
I know, should chuck in slave labour, corruption and bribes and we’ll have 100 comments in no time.
I know, shame on us… give it some time, I haven’t had my coffee yet 🙂
I wonder if Qatar will take action against Dolphin Energy. Having an Emirati company in their gas industry has been seen as an open sore for many Qataris for years. Maybe Qatar is above cheap retaliation.
Not a bad idea. It should be considered as one of the last resort actions.
Economic/financial restrictions are the UAE’s achilles heel.
I believe some guys got their hands on a Game of Thrones dvd…I’m expecting tomorrow’s news to be “Qatar places order for 40 state of the art dragons”.
I don’t know about the rest of you but at the moment I’m crafting my hat…out of tinfoil for that extra protection 🙂
I think it’s worse now, Isis are after qataris now…..