Anna Pukas, LONDON (Rahnuma) : Scores of protesters took to the streets outside the UK’s parliament building in London on Monday to voice their objections to the visit of Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.
Al-Thani arrived is in the UK for a visit that has already drawn criticism and become mired in controversy, with activists demonstrating outside the Palace of Westminster on Monday against Qatar’s continued support for terrorism across the Middle East region.
The demonstrations come after several recent stories have drawn Londoners’ attention to Qatar’s actions. The BBC recently revealed new evidence that a $1 billion ransom paid by Doha for the release of 28 Qataris kidnapped in Iraq was used to fund terror.
Last month, the UK Parliament launched an investigation into the Arab Organization for Human Rights in the UK, a shadowy group with alleged ties to Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood, after the videotaping of an event apparently breached parliamentary rules.
The emir arrived on Sunday as several banners over prominent roads in London were seen, with the hashtag #OpposeQatarVisit and asking the question: “If a country was accused of paying $1 billion in a ransom to terrorist groups… then why is the UK government rolling out the red carpet for the Qatar Emir?”
The full details of the Qatari Emir’s visit have not been disclosed officially by the UK government, but sources told Arab News his visit is likely to start on Monday with a meeting with UK business leaders and a speech in Parliament later on in the day.
His meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May and other members of the UK government will take place on Tuesday.