Media Report: Qatar: Human rights situation in the country

After the conclusion of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in December 2022, the Qatari authorities continue their gross and blatant violations of the rights of Qatari citizens and expatriates. It is very important for the two governments of US and UK in addition to the EU to strongly call on the authorities to stop the massive violations against women, human rights activists, ordinary citizens who are arbitrarily travel banned, and migrant workers. There is not any local remedy to address these violations and as such we have only the international advocacy as a tool to reach our ultimate goal which is to have a positive peaceful change in Qatar. Please find below some case information from the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) and partners.

Woman human rights defender threatened, amid discriminatory guardianship rules 

GCHR is very concerned for the safety and well-being of woman human rights defender Noof Al-Maadeed, who returned to Qatar in September 2021 after assurances from the Qatari authorities that her rights would not be violated. Since then, she has experienced numerous threats to her safety. On 18 March 2023, Al-Maadeed published videos on social media networks, including her Twitter account, which is topped by the following phrase, “The stupid one who returned to her country.” The video recordings confirm that she was subjected to widespread violations of her civil and human rights at the hands of the authorities, led by the notorious State security Apparatus, known for its work outside the legal framework and its use of the Qatari judiciary as a tool to target innocent citizens. In these recordings, she appears thin, tearful and tense, and exhibits symptoms of severe depression.

A report published in March 2021 by Human Rights Watch notes that “Qatar’s discriminatory male guardianship system denies women the right to make many key decisions about their lives.”
The report, “‘Everything I Have to Do is Tied to a Man’: Women and Qatar’s Male Guardianship Rules,” highlights that “women in Qatar must obtain permission from their male guardians to marry, study abroad on government scholarships, work in many government jobs, travel abroad until certain ages, and receive some forms of reproductive health care. The discriminatory system also denies women the authority to act as their children’s primary guardian, even when they are divorced and have legal custody. These restrictions violate Qatar’s constitution and international law.

Prosecutor calls for death penalty against human rights defender