• Shrey soral

The other side of Qatar


A court in Qatar has convicted a Dutch woman of having sex outside marriage after she told police she was raped.

The 22-year-old was handed a suspended sentence and fined $824.She will also be deported.

Her lawyer said her drink had been spiked at a Doha hotel in March and she had woken up in a stranger's flat, where she realised she had been raped.

The woman was arrested by the police immediately after reporting the crime.


The case of the Dutch woman raises further questions about how the Qatari authorities will deal with the thousands of Western tourists expected to travel to the country for the 2022 Fifa World Cup, many of whom may be unfamiliar with its laws.

In 2013, a Norwegian woman in the United Arab Emirates was given a 16-month prison sentence for perjury, extramarital sex and drinking alcohol after she told police she had been raped. She was later pardoned and allowed to return to Norway.


Qatar does not allow dual nationality and discriminates against women by not allowing them to pass nationality to their children on the same basis as men. Qatar allows men to pass citizenship to their spouses and children, whereas children of Qatari women and non-citizen men can only apply for citizenship under narrow conditions.

In September, Qatar passed a law on permanent residence that would be available for the first time to children of Qatari women married to non-Qatari men. The permanent residency allows qualified children to receive government health and educational services, to invest in the economy, and own real estate. However, the law falls short of granting women equal rights to men in conferring nationality to their children and spouses.

Qatar’s personal status law also discriminates against women in marriage, divorce, child custody, and inheritance. The law provides that women can only marry if a male guardian approves of the marriage; men have a unilateral right to divorce while requiring women to apply to the courts for divorce on limited grounds; and a wife is responsible for looking after the household and obeying her husband. Under inheritance provisions, female siblings receive half the amount their brothers get.

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