UAE and Qatar face off in International Court of Justice over year-long blockade

UAE and Qatar face off in International Court of Justice over year-long blockade

Today, lawyers representing the UAE will rebut accusations of discrimination presented by Qatar yesterday in the International Court of Justice.

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Today, lawyers representing the UAE will rebut accusations of discrimination presented by Qatar yesterday in the International Court of Justice.

Just over a year ago, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt blockaded the small, hydrocarbon-rich Gulf state, cutting diplomatic ties and transport links, while also expelling Qatari civilians from their countries. These countries accuse Qatar of using its wealth, along with influential media outlet Al Jazeera, to incite dissent across the Middle East and North African regions. Geopolitical tensions stemming from Qatar’s close ties to Iran has also played a role.

Since then, Doha has levelled human rights charges against the blockading quartet—specifically against the UAE, which is the only state to have signed a 1965 international treaty to eliminate discrimination.

Qatar’s lawyers have argued that persecution of Qatari nationals—particularly the limitation on their movement—has violated this treaty.

Although a provisional ruling may come in months, the majority of international court cases take several years to be officially resolved. As such, today’s court action is merely a sideshow in a fundamentally political squabble among monarchs.

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