Qatar abstained, Thursday, during a session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, in a vote on a resolution authorizing the opening of an international investigation into the bloody suppression of protests in its neighbor, Iran.
The small Gulf country, which is currently hosting the soccer World Cup, has recently come under fire for its human rights record, particularly the rights of women, LGBT people and migrant workers.
During the emergency session that the council held at its headquarters in Geneva, Doha decided to abstain from voting.
Qatar thus joined 15 other countries that decided to abstain from voting on the draft resolution. The Human Rights Council includes 47 countries.
The draft resolution to send an investigation committee to Iran to look into all violations related to the suppression of protests in this country was submitted by Germany and Iceland, and it was approved by the support of 25 member states, the objection of six states, and the abstention of 16 states.
In recent years, relations between Qatar and Iran have strengthened, in contrast to the tense relations between the Islamic Republic and other regional powers, primarily the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
On the Human Rights Council, Qatar occupies one of the 13 seats reserved for the Asia-Pacific region. She was elected as a member of the Council by the United Nations General Assembly for a three-year term (2022-2024).
In light of the restrictions imposed by the conservative Muslim country on individual freedoms and the rights of women and gays in particular, many of the teams participating in the Qatar World Cup organized symbolic protests, which aroused the indignation of the tournament organizers.
32 teams from 31 countries will participate in the World Cup in Qatar (England and Wales are elected from the United Kingdom). Many of these countries are members of the Human Rights Council and voted Thursday in favor of the draft resolution.
These countries are Argentina, Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, South Korea and the United States.
As for Brazil, Cameroon and Senegal, whose teams are participating in the World Cup, they joined Qatar in abstaining from voting.