Qatar’s rights group wants detention centres scrapped

October 22, 2011

Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) has called for the cancellation of deportation detention centres.

Foreign workers being repatriated by their sponsors must be given the right to challenge these decisions in court, the watchdog said in its 2010 report. “A person must have the right to challenge the decision of his sponsor to repatriate him or her home,” NHRC said, Qatari daily The Peninsula reported.

Some people are kept at the lock-ups of the Capital Police without being referred to the Public Prosecution, the NHRC said. The rights body said it received 791 complaints in 2010 and 220 were related to sponsorship change and the renewal of residency permits.

At least 50 requests were made to the NHRC for financial aid from financially hard-pressed foreign workers. At least four Qatari nationals approached the rights body to help them get married to foreigners.

In the report, NHRC said that all prison sentences against journalists must be repealed immediately and the new media law be implemented allowing media freedom. The NHRC said that it had the draft of a law ready to be forwarded to the government which proposes that the children of Qatari women married to foreigners be given nationality. Under the current laws, only fathers can pass on their nationalities to their children.

In some cases when foreigners wanted to change their sponsorship, their sponsors, instead of looking into their requests, sent their papers to the authorities urging them to send them home.

“This is wrong and the system must change. There are people who are detained at the deportation centres for long periods of time for no rhyme or reason. Then, there are those who are detained for repatriation for long although the court has ordered their repatriation,” the rights body said.

The NHRC said it was in favour of quick repatriation of people who are to be sent home. “They must not be made to wait for long since that amounts to suppressing their freedom. If at all, there should be ‘respectable’ shelters where those being repatriated should be kept for brief periods and then sent home.”

NHRC activists visit the deportation centres as well as the central prison and police lock-ups periodically and have discovered some abuse, the report said.

A woman was reportedly assaulted by security officials at the deportation centre and the incident is being investigated by the authorities. NHRC said that a study of the case has been conducted and recommendations have been made for improving the system.



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

Random Image

13 visitors online now
0 guests, 13 bots, 0 members
Max visitors today: 16 at 12:01 am UTC
This month: 45 at 08-06-2017 06:47 am UTC
This year: 48 at 05-21-2017 10:47 am UTC
All time: 137 at 07-08-2013 12:50 pm UTC
Better Tag Cloud