Qatar’s death row and the invisible migrant workforce deemed unworthy of due process

Jocelyn Hutton, University of Oxford; Carolyn Hoyle, University of Oxford, and Lucy Harry, University of Oxford

Qatari authorities are ignoring international law by failing to inform embassies when their citizens are arrested, detained or are pending trial for a death sentence.

Our new data reveals that between 2016 and 2021 at least 21 people were under sentence of death in Qatar. Of the 21, only three cases involved Qatari nationals and only one involved a woman (who was accused of murder). The remaining 18 were made up of foreign nationals: seven from India, two from Nepal, five from Bangladesh, one Tunisian and three Asians of unknown nationality.

Of these cases, 17 related to homicide and one a conviction for drug trafficking. The majority of the murder cases involved male migrant labourers from South Asia, convicted of crimes related to their precarious migrant worker status. The remaining murder cases involved one Tunisian man, and two defendants’ where the nationalities were unknown.

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