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Wife of jailed Qatari royal: There are no human rights in Qatar

Published: Updated:

Asma Rayan, the wife of Sheikh Talal bin Abdulaziz bin Ahmed bin Ali Al-Thani, said on Thursday the Qatari regime had deprived her and her children from their basic human rights to get “revenge” on their jailed father at a Geneva Press Club conference.

The mother of four said Tamim’s regime forced her family into dire living conditions after they were put in poor housing and prevented from obtaining basic healthcare and education.

The regime, she said, tried to torture her husband by attacking his children “mentally and physically” and treating them like “filth” while he was in jail.

“If there [are] human rights in Qatar, then this shouldn’t be happening,” Rayan said.

READ ALSO: Le Point: Qatar arrests 20 opponents from al-Thani ruling family

Rayan added that they were forced to leave their home and bare with unlivable conditions, while she was pregnant, and that they were given no means to support themselves.

She said that because the housing they were put in was full of insects, the children fell ill but were denied access to healthcare.

Long-standing family feuds

Rayan stated that feuds within the family escalated after the death of Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Ahmed, one of the founders of Qatar, when he was in exile in Saudi Arabia in 2008.

Sheikh Talal’s own assets were frozen and inheritance was withheld following his father’s death. Without access to money or property, he was unable to pay his debts and was jailed hereafter.

READ ALSO: Details emerge on Doha’s imprisonment of 20 al-Thani family members

“He was trapped into a conspiracy of signing cheques. It was a set up to make him go into business[es]. They managed to make him sign the cheques, and through that [he] was an easy target to put him in jail,” she said.

According to Rayan, the Qatari regime attempted to force Sheikh Talal to sign papers attesting to his insanity, but she managed to convince her husband not to.

Rayan noted that her husband was jailed after he demanded the granting of his rights, but instead the regime “made him suffer”.

Sheikh Talal, Rayan’s husband, is the grandson of Sheikh Ahmed bin Ali al-Thani, who was the Emir of Qatar from 1960 until 1972.

The late Sheikh Ahmad was deposed by his cousin Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad, who is the grandfather of Qatar’s current Emir Tamim bin Hamad.