Following protests expressing grievance at the recently passed Shura Council election law which discriminates against members of the Al Murra tribe, two Qatari lawyers, brothers Hazza and Rashed bin Ali Abu Shurayda al-Marri, have been held in solitary confinement since their arbitrary detention in August 2021. This amounts to torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment. They must be immediately released.
Ambassador Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad Al Thani
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Qatari brothers Hazza and Rashed bin Ali Abu Shurayda al-Marri
, both lawyers belonging to the Al Murra tribe, have been detained in solitary confinement since their arrest over seven months ago.
In July 2021, the Emir – Qatar’s ruler, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani – ratified a law paving the way for the first legislative elections of the Shura Council. In early August 2021, members of tribes, mainly the al-Murra tribe, protested against their exclusion from the Shura Council elections. Hazza al-Marri took part in the protests, and on August 8, 2021, he tweeted a video-recorded message addressed to the Emir criticizing the law. On August 10, 2021, members of the Criminal Investigation Department arrested Hazza al-Marri at his home. His brother Rashed al-Marri went to the Public Prosecution offices to enquire about the reasons for Hazza al-Marri’s arrest and requested access to his brother as his legal representative. He was told that he would have to submit the request in writing, which he did. Rashed al-Marri was then summoned to appear before the Public Prosecution on August 11, 2021, where he was immediately detained. The two men were initially held by the cybercrime department until August 22, 2021. They were then moved to a State Security detention facility in the Fereej Bin Omran area of Doha, the capital, where they remained until the end of December 2021 before their transfer to another State Security detention facility near the Industrial area in Doha, where they continue to be held in solitary confinement. The brothers are granted family visits and calls twice a week.
The two men have appeared three times before a judge in sessions that took place behind closed doors. During the first one, on January 26, 2022, the judge appointed a defence lawyer without granting them the option to appoint a lawyer of their own choosing. Two other brief sessions took place on February 22 and March 8, 2022.
I urge you to immediately release Hazza bin Ali Abu Shurayda al-Marri and Rashed bin Ali Abu Shurayda al-Marri unless they are promptly charged with a recognizable criminal offence, in accordance with international law and standards. Pending their release, they must have immediate access to lawyers of their choice and any medical attention they may require.