The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor described in an oral statement before the Human Rights Council on Monday, 21 September, the unilateral sanctions by some countries against the civilian population as a “a lethal weapon that may lead to the death of civilians, especially in light of the unprecedented risks posed by the Corona pandemic.”
In a joint statement with the International Institute for Rights and Development, the Euro-Med Monitor said during the 45th session of UNHRC that the “the 13-year-long Israeli arial, naval and ground blockade against two million people in the Gaza Strip have severely impacted all spheres of life in the besieged enclave, with the economic and health sectors as the most heavily damaged”.
The oral statement delivered by the Euro-Med Monitor’s Tayim Al-Youssef, said: “As Gaza battles an outbreak of Covid-19, it faces a 47% shortage in essential drugs and 33% shortage in medical consumables. Its people are unable to seek medical treatment abroad, and the pandemic has further compromised the enclave’s fragile economy. In other words, Gaza’s blockade becomes almost a death sentence during the pandemic.
“Civilian populations should not bear the full brunt of political disputes between different groups or countries. However, as we could see in Gaza, sanctions have been indiscriminate in their impact and have been a tool of collective punishment that have heavily worsened the lives of civilians to pressure or extract concessions from political elites.
“A similar quagmire in the region has been taking place in Qatar since 2017, where Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates arbitrarily imposed a blockade on it, which has cut countless families from each other across the borders. This diplomatic crisis remains unsolved with no serious effort in sight to end it, which portends that the blockade may become a perpetual status quo.
The Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor and the International Institute for Rights and Development-Geneva call on the said countries to immediately lift their sanctions to ensure the safety and wellbeing of civilian populations in these unprecedented times.”