Qatar – Human Rights Council – Death Penalty – Submitted October 2018

The Advocates for Human Rights, together with the World Coalition against the Death Penalty, submitted a stakeholder report addressing the death penalty in Qatar for the 33rd Session of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review in May 2019.

During its second UPR in 2014, the government of Qatar did not accept or implement recommendations to establish a formal moratorium on the death penalty, to abolish the death penalty, to commute all death sentences, or to initiate public debate regarding the death penalty.

Qatar is considered to have a de facto moratorium on the imposition of the death penalty with no reported executions since 2003, but courts in Qatar have continued to sentence citizens and foreign nationals to death. The Qatari Penal Code does not limit capital punishment to the “most serious crimes” but rather allows the death penalty to be imposed as punishment for loosely defined crimes against the State and “honor” crimes.

The authors of this report propose the following recommendations for the Government of Qatar

  • Immediately adopt a formal moratorium on the death penalty;
  • Commute all existing death sentences;
  • Ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
  • Prohibit imposition of the death penalty for any crime that does not involve an intentional killing, consistent with Qatar’s obligations under Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
  • Initiate a public dialogue regarding the death penalty, with a view toward its abolition.