Qatar forcibly deports Yemeni woman and her baby

Qatar

In a video on Twitter, a woman accused the Qatari government of trying to forcibly return her and her child to her home country of Yemen.

Human rights activists and netizens have spoken out against the Qatari government after it emerged that it has forcibly deported a Yemeni woman and her young son to Djibouti with the intention of sending them back home to Yemen. Hayat al-Baidhani posted a video earlier this week, claiming she and her child were tricked into a flight to Djibouti by Qatari authorities, who had said they were being taken to Jordan to her friends.

Hayat had been married to a Qatari national and had divorced him recently. The man had reportedly tried to revoke her right to live in the country and take custody of the child. Later the woman’s parents in Yemen seem to have contacted him, seeking his help in returning her home. According to a document released by the Expatriates Council of Yemen, Qatari officials had directed contacted Houthi officials in Sana’a to help facilitate her return. This move to contact and cooperate with an illegal and unrecognized entity in the country was slammed by the Yemeni government.

In the video, which went viral across the Arab world, Hayat says she is staying at a police station in Djibouti. She was shocked to discover that her husband had been on the same flight and received her and her child in the company of her family, the Yemeni embassy in Djibouti and the Qatari authorities when they landed. They were then transferred to the custody of Djibouti police, pending their future trip to Yemen. She says her life is being threatened and she will definitely be killed if she were to be sent back to Yemen.

Social media users called on Qatar for violating women’s rights, refugee rights and the law of the land to force the vulnerable pair into a country ravaged by war and famine, all due to the political influence of the former husband. They appealed to several human rights organisations to save Hayat and her child.

This is a grave violation from a country that promised to open its door to migrants and refugees, according to activists who called on Djibouti authorities to block her deportation to Yemen. They also urged the UN Commission for Human Rights to intervene to save their lives. There has been no further communication from the woman except that she has been handed over to the Yemeni embassy in Djibouti and the United Nations has been in touch with her. There have been no comments from the Qatari government.

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