The judicial punishment of flogging continued to be applied. One case was reported during the year. A British national, Gavin Sherrard-Smith, was sentenced to 50 lashes and six months' imprisonment by an Islamic Court in February on charges of selling alcohol. He was reportedly denied access to a lawyer and his sentence was upheld by the Court of Appeal in March. The 50 lashes were carried out in secret in May. No information was received about two prisoners of conscience, M.V. Babu and Samuel Philip, who were arrested in January 1993 for allegedly holding an unauthorized Christian prayer meeting (see Amnesty International Report 1994). In March 1993 the authorities stated that a decision to deport the two men, both Indian nationals, "was taken in view of the breach of Qatari Visa Law No. 3 of 1963". At the end of 1994 it was still not clear whether or not they had been deported. Amnesty International appealed in April to the Amir of Qatar, al-Shaikh Khalifa Ibn Hamad Al Thani, to exercise clemency by commuting the punishment of lashes, which the organization considers to be cruel, inhuman and degrading. It urged the authorities to replace this punishment in law by other more humane punishments. No response was received.

This 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.