Up to 6,000 members of a Qatari tribe were arbitrarily deprived of Qatari nationality. Women faced discrimination under a range of laws and practices. At least 19 people remained under sentence of death.
A new Constitution, which came into force in June, provides for hereditary rule by the Al-Thani family through the male line and contains various human rights guarantees, including some that continued to be ignored in practice.
One man was killed and at least 12 people were injured in March when a suicide bomber, believed to be an Egyptian national, exploded a car close to an English-language school in Doha.
The Interior Ministry established a human rights unit to monitor and respond to human rights issues raised by international human rights organizations and to consider complaints. In July the Ministry opened a shelter for victims of crime, labour abuse and human trafficking.
Abuses in the context of the 'war on terror'
Security forces carried out a number of arrests following the March bombing in Doha. At least 17 people, including foreign nationals, were still detained without charge or trial at the end of 2005.
- Mohamed Naseem Abdel Latif Hijazi, an Egyptian graphic designer, was arrested at his workplace on 21 March. He was detained without charge or trial in solitary confinement at the State Security prison in Doha until November, when he was released.
Deprivation of citizenship
As many as 6,000 members of the Al-Ghufran branch of the Al-Murra tribe were deprived of Qatari nationality between October 2004 and June 2005 on grounds, believed to be spurious, that they were nationals of other countries. Some were reportedly forced to leave Qatar to seek resettlement in neighbouring countries, or detained to induce them to do so, despite guarantees in the new Constitution against the deportation of Qatari nationals.
Article 35 of the new Constitution bans all discrimination "on grounds of sex, race, language, or religion". In practice, however, women remained subject to gender discrimination under a range of laws and practices, such as laws concerning marriage contracts that favour men. Women must also obtain approval from their husband or guardian before travelling, and children of Qatari women who marry foreign nationals do not qualify for Qatari citizenship, unlike children born to Qatari fathers and foreign mothers.
- Hamda Fahad Jassem Ali Al-Thani, a member of the ruling family, was reportedly confined to her home in Doha because her father disapproved of her choice of husband, and ill-treated. She was allegedly abducted from Egypt and forcibly returned to Qatar by Qatari security officials in November 2002. She was detained in secret in Doha for five months until April 2003, and then transferred to the offices of the state's Special Security Directorate in Doha, where she was detained until November 2003. She was then handed over to her family, who confined her against her will.
At least 19 people remained under sentence of death for their part in a failed coup attempt in 1996. Two others, Hamad bin Jassem bin Hamad Al-Thani and Bakhit Marzouq al-Abdullah, were pardoned by the Emir, Shaikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, and released.
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