Last Updated: Monday, 22 December 2014, 10:19 GMT

Amnesty International Report 2008 - Qatar

Publisher Amnesty International
Publication Date 28 May 2008
Cite as Amnesty International, Amnesty International Report 2008 - Qatar, 28 May 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/483e27ab5.html [accessed 22 December 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

QATAR

Head of State: Shaikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani
Head of government: Shaikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani (replaced ShaikhAbdullah bin Khalifa al-Thani in April)
Death penalty: retentionist
Population: 0.9 million
Life expectancy: 75 years
Under-5 mortality (m/f): 9/8 per 1,000
Adult literacy: 89 per cent


The authorities restored the nationality of some 2,000 people, but hundreds were believed to be still deprived of their nationality. Political prisoners remained in jail without charge or after unfair trials. Migrant workers were exploited and, if they protested, deported. Courts continued to pass sentences of death and flogging, although no one was executed.

Background

Qatar was elected to the UN Human Rights Council in May after the government promised to implement recommendations of human rights treaty bodies.

Nationality rights

The authorities restored Qatari nationality to some 2,000 people, including many al-Ghufran members of al-Murra tribe. However, some alleged that their birth records had been amended to indicate erroneously that they were born outside Qatar, rendering them ineligible to vote. Other cases of arbitrary deprivation of nationality remained unresolved and several new cases were reported.

  • Maher Ibrahim Mohamed Hanoon, a Qatari national of Palestinian origin, his former wife, Abeer Tameem Mohamed al-Adnani, and their two children, Tameem, 14, and Raneem, 10, reportedly had their Qatari nationality arbitrarily withdrawn by the Interior Ministry in July, leaving them at risk of deportation.
  • 'Abdul Hameed Hussain al-Mohammed, together with his six children and two brothers, were reportedly stripped of their Qatari nationality and ordered to be deported in October 2002. They were dismissed from their jobs, lost their employment rights and were denied publicly provided housing assistance which they had previously received as Qatari nationals. This action was taken against them after 'Abdul Hameed Hussain al-Mohammed and his two brothers were sentenced to prison terms in December 2001 following a dispute with another individual.

'War on terror'

At least two foreign nationals continued to be held at the state security prison in Doha: Mussa Ayad, an Egyptian national held since March 2006, who was reportedly held in solitary confinement without charge; and Ali Hassan Sairaka, a Syrian national held since 2005 and sentenced to five years in prison in 2007.

  • Fahad al-Mansouri, arrested in November 2005 and sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment for "belonging to a secret organization", was released in early September 2007.

Violence against women

The authorities failed adequately to address discrimination and violence against women.

  • In January, the Appeal Court reduced to a one-year suspended sentence the three-year prison sentence imposed on a Jordanian man convicted of murdering his 16-year-old sister. The Court held that he had not intended to kill his sister, whom he suspected of having an illicit relationship.

Migrant workers

Foreign migrant workers, who make up a large proportion of Qatar's workforce, complained that they were exploited, including by non-payment of wages. They continued to have inadequate protection under the law.

  • In May, hundreds of Nepalese workers staged protests to demand an increase in and monthly payment of their salaries and benefits. They were reportedly arrested and ill-treated before being deported to Nepal.

Cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments

Sentences of flogging continued to be imposed.

  • In January, a court in Doha sentenced an Egyptian national to 40 lashes for drinking alcohol.

Death penalty

One person was sentenced to death and at least 22 people were on death row, but no executions were reported.

  • In April, an unnamed Qatari man convicted of having sexual relations with his 14-year-old daughter was sentenced to death.

Amnesty International visit

  • Amnesty International's Secretary General visited Qatar in May.
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