Qaṭar: Authorities continue to target human rights defender Abdullah Al-Maliki


Authorities in Qatar continue to target Qatari human rights defender Abdullah Al-Maliki inside and outside the Gulf state.

On 09 March 2023 and 11 April 2023, Al-Maliki went to the Qatari embassy in Berlin, the capital of Germany, and the Qatari consulate in Munich, Germany, respectively, and submitted five requests, some of which related to renewing his personal documents. All requests were rejected.

Human rights activist Franz Meier, a German citizen residing in Munich, told the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) the following: “I went with the Qatari human rights activist Abdullah Al-Maliki to the Qatari embassy in Berlin on 09 March 2023, and the Qatari Consulate General in Munich on 11 April 2023. He submitted his applications directly inside both, which included the following:

1. Renewing his Qatari passport.

2. Renewing his Qatari identity card.

3. Cancellation of his power of attorney in Qatar.

4, Giving Power of attorney for a colleague in Qatar.

5. Submitting a complaint against the Director of the Consular Affairs Department at the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

We stayed for a long time on both sites, then all his requests were rejected. I do not expect his requests to be answered, and that is only because of his peaceful defense of human rights in his country, the State of Qatar.”

It’s worth noting, that the Qatari embassy in Berlin and the Qatari consulate in Munich have rejected, contrary to applicable local laws, all requests to renew Al-Maliki’s passport and identity card, which he has submitted many times since January 2021.

On 26 May 2022, the Criminal Court sentenced Al-Maliki to life imprisonment after holding only two hearings, without informing him, in a trial that lacked the minimum international standards for fair trial and due legal procedures.

 In this show trial, Al-Maliki was charged with  allegedly "publicly challenging the emir's exercise of his powers and dishonouring himself," "inciting the overthrow of the ruling regime," and "attempting to overthrow the regime."

In addition to judicial harassment, Al-Maliki was subjected to many other forms of direct targeting. On 13 July 2022, Al-Maliki was at a peaceful gathering organised by a number of human rights activists in the popular Marienplatz Square in Munich, Germany, which was repeatedly attacked by groups of more than 15 Qatari citizens. These citizens were mobilised by the State Security Apparatus and sent to Germany to carry out a specific mission of sabotaging this peaceful protest calling for freedom, justice, equality, democracy and the release of detainees in Qatar.

In a statement to the GCHR, Al-Maliki said, "I will continue to defend human rights, and the internal and external harassment that I and my children have been subjected to by the Qatari official authorities increases my determination and firmness to continue the path of defending human rights and the path of promoting freedom, justice, equality and democracy in our country, the State of Qatar." He added, "My Qatari people, as well as migrant workers, are subjected to grave violations of their civil and human rights by the authorities, and I must defend them all."

Once again, the GCHR condemns in the strongest terms the targeting and intimidation of prominent human rights defender Abdullah Al-Maliki by the State Security Apparatus in addition to the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and calls on them to stop harassing him, including through judicial harassment. The GCHR calls on the authorities in Qatar to stop his trials immediately and unconditionally, and to drop all fabricated charges against him.

The GCHR urges all Western governments in the countries in which Al-Maliki is present and where he exercises his peaceful activities in the field of human rights, to provide him with full protection.