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Top UN court orders UAE to protect Qatari citizens’ rights

THE HAGUE: The UN’s top court ordered the United Arab Emirates to protect the rights of Qatari citizens wading into a bitter crisis which has snapped ties between Doha and its Gulf neighbours.
Judges at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague narrowly ruled in a binding decision that the UAE must allow families, which include Qatari members, to be reunited, and that Qatari students must be given the chance to complete their education in the Emirates.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and other allies severed ties with Qatar on June 7, 2017, accusing Doha of backing terrorism. Qatari nationals living in the UAE were officially given just 14 days to leave the country.
But Doha denies the accusations, and last month appealed to the ICJ to impose emergency measures against the UAE accusing Abu Dhabi of breaking the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD).
In a hearing in late June, Qatar accused the United Arab Emirates of spreading a “climate of fear” among Qataris living there, splitting families and causing “substantial pain” during the year-long blockade.
The ICJ judges voted by eight votes in favour and seven against that the UAE “must ensure that families, that include a Qatari, separated by the measures adopted by the United Arab Emirates … are reunited,” said presiding judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf.