Qatar: Civil servant held without charge

Salim Al Kawari was arrested on 7 February 2011 by State Security personnel who first took him to his house with the intention of searching it, then took him to an unknown location.  His family did not know that he had been detained at a State Security site until six weeks later.

In this regard Alkarama sent a letter on 9 May 2011 to the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, requesting that they intervene with the Qatari authorities to persuade them immediately to release Mr. Kawari or to bring him to trial while providing all the required guarantees stipulated by law.

Mr. Salim Hasan Khalifa Al Kawari is 33 years old, and is normally employed at Civil Defense.  He lives in Doha.  He was arrested on 7 February 2011 by elements of State Security without being informed of the reasons for his investigation.  He was immediately taken to his house, which was searched in his presence, and then taken to an unknown location.  His family did not know that he was being detained at the State Security office until a month and a half afterwards.

The first ten days of his detention were extremely difficult, due to the harsh conditions of detention.  He was put in an extremely cold cell without bedding and remained handcuffed throughout.  He was forced to remain standing for many days, then ultimately forced to sign a document placed before him and put his fingerprints to it against his will and under the threat of resuming the maltreatment.

After the end of this first stage of the detention, he was brought before the public prosecutor, who ordered that his detention should continue, even though he still did not know whether there was a case for prosecution and under what laws he continues to be detained.  He is still barred from his right to legal representation and from receiving visits from a lawyer to help him prepare his defense.  His family, however, have received assurances from the authorities that he will be released.

In view of this, it is clear that Mr. Al Kawari is still detained without being the subject of legal proceedings and without being given the opportunity to contest the legality of the measures taken against him, and it is absolutely clear that his detention is an arbitrary measure, constituting a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

For more information or an interview, please contact (Dir: +41 22 734 1008).

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