Jenny Marra Calls for Salmond to Meet with Human Rights Groups While in Quatar

1 November 2011

Scottish Labour's Jenny Marra has called on the First Minister to meet with human rights organisations in Qatar after Alex Salmond hailed the "remarkable similarities" between Scotland and Qatar.

Newly-elected Scottish Labour MSP Jenny Marra, who is a member of Amnesty International, said,

"In Qatar, women continue to face discrimination and violence.

"Migrant workers are exploited and abused.

" The death sentence is supported and sentences of flogging are still passed.

"In June this year, Eman al-Obeidi – a woman who publicly accused soldiers supporting Gaddafi’s regime of rape – was deported by Qatari officials back to Libya against her will.

"Qatar has a shameful record on human rights and for our First Minister to compare Qatar to Scotland will stun human rights campaigners.

"Opening up business links with Qatar is a great way of using our leverage to reinforce our view that human rights must be absolute and universal.

"I hope that the First Minister will be asking appropriate questions on his trip and make time in his schedule to meet with human rights groups that campaign so courageously to end human rights abuses."

Motion tabled in the Scottish Parliament : Human Rights Action in Qatar

That the Parliament commends the work of human rights organisations working in Qatar to end what it believes is the systematic abuse of human rights including discrimination against women, detention without charge, and the use of the death penalty; further believes that these practices are inhumane and a violation of international law; calls on the First Minister to meet with human rights groups during his visit to Qatar, and urges him to raise the concerns of human rights groups with appropriate Qatari officials

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