Qatar moves to ease punishment for airplane smokers

June 8, 2011

Qatar is amending a law that prescribes jail terms for airplane passengers charged with smoking and using mobile phones in commercial flights.

The government said that smoking and using mobile phones in flights were not very serious offences and sentencing the guilty to prison terms was not necessary.

In a memorandum forwarded to the Advisory Council on the proposed amendments, the government said that the hefty fine of 30,000 riyals ($8,215) already prescribed for such violations by the law was a strong deterrent, Qatari daily The Peninsula reported on Wednesday.

A law adopted by Qatar this year stipulates fines of up to 30,000 riyals and jail terms of up to three years for passengers referred to Qatari courts and found guilty of either smoking or using mobile phones in flight.

However, the law, even if it is amended, will continue to prescribe punishments for various other crimes that take place in flights in accordance with the provisions of the international civil aviation laws.

They include child abuse, sexual harassment, drinking heavily, misbehaving and posing threats to the safety of passengers and crews.

The law is applicable if the offence is committed on planes in Qatari airspace or on aircraft that is state-registered or rented.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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