The 2004 Constitution of Qatar does not guarantee the right to life. Article 36 provides that "no person may be subjected to torture, or any degrading treatment; and torture shall be considered a crime punishable by law".
Article 44 provides that: "The right of the citizens to assemble is guaranteed in accordance with the provisions of the law."
The Constitution does not address the use of force by the police or other law enforcement agencies. Article 121(7) of the Constitution makes the Council of Ministers is responsible for "drawing up the general regulations that adequately ensure the maintenance of internal security and public order in all parts of the State in accordance with the law".
|1966 Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)||State Party|
|ICCPR Optional Protocol 1||Not party|
|1984 Convention against Torture (CAT)||State Party|
|Competence of CAT Committee to receive individual complaints||No|
|CAT Optional Protocol 1||Not party|
|1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court||Not party|
|2004 Arab Charter of Human Rights||State Party|
Police Use of Force
The Qatar Police Force is under the Ministry of Interior.
Law No. 23 of 1993 governs the Police Force but its contents are not known. Article 161 of the Penal Code (Law No. 11 of 2004) stipulates that:
Whoever, being a public servant, uses harshness with any person as part of his office duties or compels him to any act except in those cases where the law authorizes such acts shall be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years and/or a fine not exceeding ten thousand Qatari riyals.
Qatar has stated that the police are responsible for the safety of gatherings and for ensuring that there is no departure from their peaceful purposes or from the conditions and rules set out in Act No. 18 of 2004 regulating public meetings and processions, which must: remain peaceful; cause no reputational damage to the State of Qatar or other States; respect the teachings of religion, public order and public morals; be authorized by the Director-General of Public Security; involve no carrying of weapons, including licensed weapons; not diverge from their stated purposes.
If these conditions and rules are not observed, "and if strictly necessary, the Minister of the Interior or his deputy may authorize the police to use force to the extent required, in conformity with the Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials".
There is no independent civilian police oversight body in Qatar. The National Human Rights Committee can hear complaints from citizens about alleged violation of their rights by the police.
Views and Concluding Observations of United Nations Treaty Bodies
Qatar has not yet come before the Human Rights Committee. In its 2018 Concluding Observations on Qatar, the Committee against Torture called on Qatar to
Further develop mandatory in-service training programmes to ensure that all public officials, in particular law enforcement officers, military personnel, prison staff and medical personnel employed in prisons, are well acquainted with the provisions of the Convention [against Torture].
There is not yet an Arab regional human rights court with jurisdiction over Qatar.