Home Human Rights Before the World Cup.. Qatar covers up women’s flogging

Before the World Cup.. Qatar covers up women’s flogging

Qatar has a black record of women's rights in particular and of human rights in general.

The British website The Mirror revealed that Qatar is covering hundreds of discriminatory sexual cases against women ahead of the World Cup. As Doha banned any media coverage and concealed all information that the authorities condemn to dealing with women in order to improve its image before the world, according to Human Rights Watch.

Severe “zina” laws classify sex and pregnancy outside of marriage as a crime. Along with adultery, they are punishable by floggings and up to seven years in jail. Even rape victims can face prosecution if a suspect claims sex was consensual.

In this regard, Rothna Begum, the charity’s women’s rights researcher, said: “Prosecuting consensual relations and sentencing people to floggings looks bad and breaches international standards.

Rothna Begum

She added that:“Just because reporting stopped, it doesn’t mean cases stopped. I met women who reported rape and had been prosecuted for zina, as Human Rights Watch believes there could be hundreds of cases.

The Mirror has confirmed that there are about 173,000 female migrant domestic workers in Qatar are “disproportionately” affected by zina laws.

In a case revealed by Newsweek, the American magazine, Paola Schietekat talks about her black experience in Qatar, when she worked on the committee responsible for organizing the World Cup, where an acquaintance from the Latin community broke into her apartment and assaulted her, leaving many bruises on her left arm, shoulder and back.

Paola Schietekat

Although she obtained a medical report and was informed it to the police, the man who raped her claimed that the relationship had taken place with her consent, the Qatari police ignored the medical report, provoked beatings and violence against the woman and prosecuted her with zina.

Despite her successfully fleeing Qatar, Schietekat described her confusion and disappointment of not having foreseen that the case could turn against her, and her misery increased after receiving the Qatari court files, she found out her assailant was acquitted of charges.

Ms. Begum warned that women migrant fans and workers who would travel Qatar for the World Cup period might be discriminated against.

Baroness Prosser, Vice President of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women, Peace and Security in Britain, also described the way Qatar treats women as “shameful”, adding: “Anyone with a shred of sense and knowledge about how women in Qatar are treated would have known that her choice to host the World Cup was not a good one.”

The charges against Qatar come amid concern about workers’ rights in Qatar, and a week after the death of Nepalese immigrant Sanjeeb Raya, 28, who died of heart failure while working for long days for one pound per hour.

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