Ministry of InteriorUnder the patronage of the Minister of State for Interior Affairs HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Arab Human Rights Day programmes started on Sunday 17 March 2013 at Crowne Plaza hotel, Doha. The programmes are organised by the Human Rights Department of the Ministry of Interior, under the theme ‘Dialogue and tolerance to promote and protect human rights‘.

In his introductory address, Col Abdulla Saqr Al Muhandi, Director of Human Rights Department of Ministry of Interior, said:

Arab Human Rights Day is organised under the slogan ‘Dialogue and tolerance to promote and protect human rights’, to honour the leaders and representatives of the expatriate communities in Qatar under the patronage of the Minister of State for Interior Affairs.’

He also pointed out that participation shows the level of the State’s interest in and the Ministry’s keenness on strengthening the respect for human rights.

A series of democratic transformations and developments have been witnessed by the country since The Emir, HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani started to rule the country. The most important of them are the permanent constitution of the country, establishment of the municipal council, media freedom, civil society institutions, establishment of the National Human Rights Committee, empowerment of women, and Qatar National Vision 2030 and National Development Strategy 2011-2016.’

The Assistant General Secretary of the National Human Rights Committee in Qatar, Sultan Hasan Al Jamali, pointed out that human rights and related fundamental freedoms are no longer optional in today’s world – instead it has become the most important topic of interest at the global and regional levels, and the role of a country on these levels is determined by the extent of the preservation of human dignity.

Community leaders have expressed their appreciation and gratitude to the Ministry of Interior for the initiative. There is great cooperation between the Ministry and the Arab and non-Arab expatriate communities – all communities have an open invite to attend lectures and forums.

At the end of the first day’s programmes, the General Secretary of International Union of Muslim Scholars, Dr Ali Quradagi, presented a lecture on ‘Dialogue and values of tolerance in Islam’. In his speech, he said that the foundation of dialogue and tolerance is deep-rooted in Islamic belief and principles, and the salute of Islam itself is ‘Salam‘, meaning peace.

The celebration will continue for the next few days. A seminar entitled ‘Developing a culture of dialogue is respect for human rights’ is being held for the Ministry’s female staff, and on Tuesday at 9 am a scholarly forum will be held on the theme ‘Dialogue and tolerance for supporting security and social safety’ at the main auditorium of the Criminal Investigation Department. The programme is held in collaboration with Human Rights Department and the Law College of Qatar University.

On Sunday 24 March 2013, the community policing section at North Security Department is organising a visit to Ras Laffan Industrial City followed by a seminar in collaboration with the Human Rights Department to highlight how the state cares for expatriate workers, their identity, cultural and religious rights.