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Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance

& Other Ill Treatment

In the early years of the 21st Century, 2000 to 2025                                          

State of Qatar

There have been some allegations of torture and other mistreatment of detainees in recent years, but legal bans on such abuse are generally respected. Corporal punishment in the form of flogging can be imposed on Muslim defendants for certain offenses under Sharia (Islamic law), including alcohol consumption and extramarital sex.  [Freedom House Country Report, 2018]

Description: Description: Qatar

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Qatar.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Torture by Authorities are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring the moral justification for inflicting pain or inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment in order to obtain critical information that may save countless lives, or to elicit a confession for a criminal act, or to punish someone to teach him a lesson outside of the courtroom.  Perhaps your paper might focus on some of the methods of torture, like fear, extreme temperatures, starvation, thirst, sleep deprivation, suffocation, or immersion in freezing water.  On the other hand, you might choose to write about the people acting in an official capacity who perpetrate such cruelty.  There is a lot to the subject of Torture by Authorities.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.

*** ARCHIVES ***

2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Qatar

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 4 August 2021]


The constitution and law prohibit torture and other inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment.

The government interprets sharia as allowing corporal punishment for certain criminal offenses, including court-ordered flogging in cases of alcohol consumption and extramarital sex by Muslims. Courts typically reduced sentences to imprisonment or a fine. The Ministry of Interior reported 375 sentences that resulted in flogging as a punishment in 2019. In May authorities executed a death sentence by a firing squad against a Nepalese expatriate who was accused of murdering a Qatari citizen in 2017. The court upheld the sentence after the family of the victim had refused the blood money in return for degrading the sentence.


In October, Amnesty International published a report detailing the 2018 arrest and detention for five months without charge of Mohamed al-Sulaiti and also posted on Twitter comments that criticized the government for imposing a travel ban on al-Sulaiti. In August, Amnesty International published a report regarding four persons, including al-Sulaiti, who were put under a travel ban without trial. Amnesty International alleged that in all of these cases authorities’ actions were conducted purely administratively, without affording any legal recourse by which the affected individuals could contest or appeal the decisions or present their claims to an independent reviewer.

Journalist dies in prison in Qatar after alleged torture

Tommy Hilton, Saudi Gazette, Dubai, 29 April 2020

[accessed 1 May 2020]

“According to a statement by human rights organizations, the detainee #Fahad_Bohendi, a #Qatari_journalist opposed to the regime, was arbitrarily imprisoned for three years, deprived of the most basic human right inside the prison, and then killed under torture,” wrote GAFHAR on Twitter.

Bohendi, a Qatari who had a degree from the UK’s Teesside University, was reportedly arrested three years ago due to his work as a social media activist.

According to GAFHAR, Bohendi had recently joined a group of fellow prisoners and rebelled against prison guards because they were scared of the spread of coronavirus in the prison. He was transferred to a solitary cell, where he went on hunger strike and was then moved to the Abu Hamour prison.

In Abu Hamour, Bohendi was “beaten, injured, and then died because of torture,” said GAFHAR, adding that authorities buried him in an unknown location without allowing his family to see the body.

Freedom House Country Report

2018 Edition

[accessed 18 May 2020]


There have been some allegations of torture and other mistreatment of detainees in recent years, but legal bans on such abuse are generally respected. Prison conditions reportedly meet international standards. Corporal punishment in the form of flogging can be imposed on Muslim defendants for certain offenses under Sharia (Islamic law), including alcohol consumption and extramarital sex.

Qatar: Investigate torture allegations of Filipino man convicted on basis of forced ‘confessions’

Amnesty International AI, 6 March 2015

[accessed 6 April 2015]

Torture in pre-trial detention - Ronaldo Lopez Ulep was arrested in Doha in April 2010. According to information received by Amnesty International, he endured repeated bouts of physical and psychological torture and other ill-treatment for the first eight months of his detention in the state security prison. During two interrogation sessions he was burned with cigarettes on his back and legs, stripped naked and forced to crawl around on the floor until his knees bled, and was frequently punched and slapped. He was then forced to sign a document in Arabic, which he could not read, that was later presented in court as a “confession”.

Following his arrest, he spent four years in solitary confinement and was only allowed out of his cell two or three times a week for 15 minutes at a time. He was not permitted to go outdoors. After three years, he was given permission to leave the cell once a day after a doctor’s recommendation due to high blood pressure.

During his time in detention he was also held for prolonged periods with his hands bound behind his back and deprived of sleep by guards who taunted him with claims that his family were dead.

The state of the world's human rights

Amnesty International AI, Annual Report 2013

[accessed 6 Feb 2014]

TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT - New cases of torture and other ill-treatment emerged.

Following their release, Abdullah al-Khawar and Salem al-Kawari alleged that while detained without charge or trial as security suspects in 2011, they were beaten, suspended by their limbs and made to remain standing for hours at a time, deprived of sleep, held in solitary confinement in tiny cells, and subjected to cold temperatures for long periods while interrogators sought to obtain “confessions” from them. The authorities took no steps to investigate their allegations or bring the perpetrators to justice.

In November, following its review of Qatar’s implementation of the UN Convention against Torture, the UN Committee against Torture urged the government to ensure that the fundamental safeguards required by the Convention were applied in practice to all persons deprived of their liberty, including by ensuring that complaints of abuse were promptly and impartially examined and that detainees could challenge the legality of their detention or treatment.

Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture

U.N. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment  -- Doc. CAT/C/QAT/CO/1 (2006)

[accessed 5 March 2013]

C.  Subjects of concern and recommendations

14. There are different regimes applicable, in law and in practice, to nationals and foreigners in relation to their legal right to be free from conduct that violates the provisions of the Convention, including their human right to complain of such conduct.

The State party should ensure that the Convention and its protections are applicable to all acts that are in violation of the Convention and that occur within its jurisdiction, from which it follows that all persons are entitled, in equal measure and without discrimination, to the rights contained therein.

16 Some detainees are subject to limitations on the right to have access to a lawyer, an independent doctor, and/or to notify one’s family.  For example, despite the provisions in the Criminal Procedure Code requiring persons to be charged or released within 48 hours, detentions for periods of up to six months, and in certain cases, up to two years, may be imposed for persons detained under the Protection of Society Law, which does not provide the right to have access to an attorney or one’s relatives during this extended period.  In addition, reported unequal treatment of non-citizens in the arrest and detention process raises concern in this regard.

The State party should ensure in law and practice that all persons detained or in custody have prompt access to a lawyer and to an independent doctor, as well as the means to notify a relative when detained, all important safeguards against torture and ill-treatment.


Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 11 February 2013]

[accessed 4 July 2019]

TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT – The law prohibits torture, and there were no reports that government officials employed torture. However, the government administered most corporal punishment prescribed by its interpretation of Islamic law. Amputation was not allowed. Punishments were not administered publicly.

Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 6   Civil Liberties: 5   Status: Not Free

2009 Edition

[accessed 11 February 2013]

LONG URL   ç 2009 Country Reports begin on Page 21

[accessed 13 May 2020]

Despite constitutional guarantees, the judiciary is not independent in practice. The majority of Qatar’s judges are foreign nationals who are appointed and removed by the emir. The judicial system consists of Sharia (Islamic law) courts, which have jurisdiction over a narrow range of issues including family law, and civil law courts, which have jurisdiction over criminal cases as well as commercial and civil suits. The Supreme Judiciary Council regulates the judiciary. The constitution protects individuals from arbitrary arrest and detention and bans torture. However, Law 17, issued in 2002, allows the suspension of these guarantees for the “protection of society.”

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Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance & Other Ill Treatment in the early years of the 21st Century- Qatar",, [accessed <date>]