Qatari regime has come under fire for grave human rights violations with torturing of the innocent and displacement of women and children, as Asma Rayan, whose husband Sheikh Talal bin Abdulaziz al-Thani is imprisoned, revealed in an interview to Okaz and Saudi Gazette.
Asma said that Al-Thani family has abandoned Sheikh Talal’s children and deprived them of financial allocations, forcing Germany to take care of them in place of their homeland.
Asma said that she is determined to expose the Qatari regime and its blatant violations of human rights.
“Hamad Bin Khalifa is behind the imprisonment and torture of my husband. Hamad is seeing to it he is not released, especially after Sheikh Talal refused to pledge allegiance to Tamim, the emir of Qatar,” she said.
Following is the excerpt of Asma’s interview:
What were the promises that were made to you by the Qatari regime?
The promises came after the threats that Sheikh Talal will be subjected to more torture and abuse and that my giving up (of the legal fight) would accelerate his release, but I convinced my Qatari lawyer that I would not back down from moving forward with taking up the case to the United Nations, with a document consisting of 300 papers, most of which are signed by the former Emir of Qatar Hamad Bin Khalifa and issued by the Qatari court. This is especially because my children are living in a tragic situation, and they should not be made to bear the repercussions of this case. This shows that the Qatari regime is immoral and does not recognize human rights which it falsely claims to uphold.
What about the verdict issued against Sheikh Talal?
He was unjustly sentenced to 27 years in prison. Justifications were presented for jailing a person who did not commit any grave crime such as murder or injustice but accused him of being insolvent. We provided the judges with proof about payment of the sums owed to the Qatari state. I wondered if the debt was actual, would the sentence entail a long jail term, and does international law approve such a ruling?
Therefore, I say this is the unjust Qatari regime. Even an official at the United Nations assured me that the sentence against a person in debt related matters does not reach this level. I do not know where he is now and in which prison. I am sure that he does not enjoy the least human rights, and I knew that they were threatening him in the event of his release that he would be expelled from Qatar.
What are the causes of all that Sheikh Talal Al-Thani is being made to suffer from your point of view?
Because he is the son of Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Thani, the former emir of Qatar, and because his father and mother are from Al-Thani family, and his mother is related to Hamad Bin Khalifa’s mother. He was the first to demand his rights as well as that of his brothers, and he refused to pledge allegiance to the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani.
He literally told members of the ruling family: “I will not pledge allegiance to the son of Moza.” He will not accept any solutions that confiscate his rights and those of his brothers who look up to him in every matter even though he is not the oldest. The plots began until matters reached unfair judgments, torture, insults, and the deprivation of his rights. Qatar lies and does not enforce rights.
What about the Qatari regime’s promotion, through its media mouthpieces, that it upholds human rights, even after your suffering, your pursuit of the issue and your insistence on moving forward?
The United Nations criticized Qatar regarding the torture of Sheikh Talal Al-Thani, because his physical appearance changed after he was deprived of a decent life inside the prison, and I would like to point out — and this is what I lived — that Qatar, after the Quartet boycott, failed to secure food and consumer goods for its citizens and residents. This was reflected in the standard of what was provided to the prisoners.
I used to plead prison officials to provide insulin for Sheikh Talal, and their responses were that it was not available, which forced me to go to places far from his prison headquarters to secure it. What added to my plight and suffering was that I was prevented from using a driver to deliver him the medication. So I consider the government of Qatar as immoral that does not apply human rights, and this is documented in the United Nations, including its violation of children’s rights.
Did you seek the help of members of the Al-Thani family to secure the release of your husband Sheikh Talal? Are you afraid?
The German authorities asked me not to talk about providing protection, and I am afraid of my life, especially after I lodged the case with the United Nations because the Qatari regime was betting that the case would not be accepted by the United Nations.
Are the children of Sheikh Talal Al-Thani receiving any support or allowances from the Qatari regime?
They stopped family allowances for the Al-Thani family, and the German government is the one that spends on us. Therefore, it was not a surprise for me when the Qatari regime abandoned my children who also belonged to the ruling family as well as their father who has continuously been facing abuse from the regime. Germany is taking care of them and has even allocated guards to protect them from the threats of their own family members who abandoned them.