UNHCR issues correction to ‘distorted’ reports appearing in Qatari media

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani speaks to the media at the Qatari Embassy in Paris, on June 12, 2017. (AP)

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said on Friday that it regrets the appearance of inaccurate accounts in Qatari media of a meeting held on Thursday between UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein and the Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar at the United Nations in Geneva.

While confirming the meeting did take place, the UN Human Rights Office said reports appearing in the Qatari media significantly distort the remarks of the High Commissioner. 

Official position 

The position of the UN Human Rights Office on various aspects of the dispute between Qatar and four other countries in the region were outlined in the following: 1) A ‘Comment’ issued by the High Commissioner on June 14, 2017; and 2) A press briefing conducted by the UN Human Rights Office’s Spokesperson on 30 June 30, 2017.

The actual comment issued by the High Commissioner on June 14 said; “I urge all the States involved to solve this dispute as quickly as possible through dialogue, to refrain from any actions that could affect the well-being, health, employment and integrity of their inhabitants, and to respect their obligations under international human rights law.”

The statement issued on Friday, although couched in in diplomatic language does not mince words, and said: “The UN Human Rights Office does not normally comment on bilateral meetings with States, except on the rare occasions when it believes the State concerned has publicly misrepresented the content of the meeting.”

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:49 - GMT 06:49