state of civil and political rights: Not free
constitution: ratified by public referendum on 29 April 2003, endorsed by the Amir on 8 June 2004, effective on 9 June 2005
legal system: based on Islamic and civil law codes; discretionary system of law controlled by the Amir, although civil codes are being implemented; Islamic law dominates family and personal matters;
legislative system: unicameral Advisory Council (Majlis al-Shura)
judicial system: Courts of First Instance, Appeal, and Cassation; an Administrative Court and a Constitutional Court were established in 2007
religion: Muslim 77.5%, Christian 8.5%, other 14%
death row: at least 22 (up to 28/05/2008 according to Amnesty International)
year of last executions: 0-0-2003
death sentences: 0
international treaties on human rights and the death penalty:
Convention on the Rights of the Child
Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
Murder, offences against the State, drug offences and terrorism are capital crimes. Under Article 283, Section 11, of the Criminal Code, sexual abuse of a man carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in jail. However, if the victim is a relative the crime falls under Article 279 punishable by death.
Non-Muslims may not proselytize, and the Government officially prohibits public worship by non-Muslims. However, it does permit and protect private services. Converting from Islam is considered apostasy, and is technically a capital offence; however, there is no record of an execution for such a crime since 1971.
Qatar passed its first anti-terror law on February 17, 2004. The law stipulates the death penalty for killing "through a terror act". Article 3 makes the death penalty or life in prison mandatory for "anyone founding, organising or managing a group or organisation to commit a terror act.” The law imposes life in prison on "anyone aiding or abetting a terror group," or "forcing someone to be a member of a terrorist organisation." But "for a terror conspirator who informs authorities of a plot before it is committed," the law provides clemency.
The Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, signed the bill into law after it was approved by the cabinet and the Shura (consultative) Council.
Until 2001, when three people were put to death, there had been no executions in Qatar for 10 years. At least 20 people are thought to be currently sentenced to death.
At least one execution took place in 2003. Indian national Arun Abraham was executed for the 2001 murder of a compatriot on March 10, 2003 after a Sharia appeals court had upheld his death sentence.
No executions have been recorded since then.
On December 18, 2008 and December 21st, 2010, Qatar voted against the Resolution on a Moratorium on the Use of the Death Penalty at the UN General Assembly.