The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain appear to be violating people's human rights by threatening to jail or fine them for expressing sympathy for Qatar, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, the U.N. human rights chief, said yesterday.
Zeid said that the four states, which have branded dozens of people and entities with alleged links to Qatar as terrorists, must respect citizens' rights.
"It is becoming clear that the measures being adopted are overly broad in scope and implementation, and have the potential to seriously disrupt the lives of thousands of women, children and men, simply because they belong to one of the nationalities involved in the dispute," he said in a statement.
He said directives issued by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain to address the humanitarian needs of families with joint nationalities appeared to be inadequate, and his office had received reports of specific individuals being ordered to return home or to leave the country they are residing in.
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