Did you know that entering or leaving Qatar without a passport, travel document, or an entry permit could land you in prison?
Furthermore, once you are involved in illegal visa trading or undocumented residence and employment, chances are you will face legal charges and be held in custody.
Now the question is, “What's inside Qatar's Prison or Detention Center?” Read on to know how it is to spend a day in jail or police cells in Qatar.
The Department has arranged a detention center to detain the violators of the provisions of the law regulating the entry and residence of foreigners or expatriates in the country, and the amended and complementary decisions thereof. The Search and Follow-up Department shall carry out the following measures towards the center:
Services of the Detention Center
• Providing daily food for the inmates
• Providing health services
• Providing travel tickets for those who are unable to pay
• Completing the external procedures, transactions for the detainees and clearances of persons in the Custody
• Depositing the personal belongings of the detainees in a special area under the supervision of concerned staff and maintaining them until the detainee collects it
• Dealing with detainees in a civilized and well-cultured manner, in accordance with national and international human rights standards
Services provided by the Search and Follow-up Department to the Inmates of the Detention Center
• Telephone service
• Dining halls and other halls for watching television inside the detention wards
• Hair salon in each detention unit with a barber and necessary equipment.
• Entertainment and communication facilities
• Playgrounds and coaches to practice sports.
• Recreation facilities
• Library in addition to access to some satellite channels
• Health care and treatment for the detainees in the hospital of the Search and Follow-up Department, which is equipped to work around the clock
• Place to visit inmates by their relatives, being arranged in an appropriate manner for this purpose
• Visits by the embassies of the countries of the inmates on a weekly basis
Following International Standards
Qatar’s Detention Center strictly follow the international standards in maintaining the dignity and humanity of their inmates, in addition to providing them with appropriate health care, according to Dr Mohamed Saif al-Kuwari, head of the observation and visits commission at the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC).
The Committee conducts regular field visits to the Detention Center to ensure that human rights are upheld in accordance with the highest practices and to further boost the implementation of the international human rights standards.
The team is also focused on:
• Checking all the facilities of the center including the food offered to the prisoners or inmates and the various essential services.
• Conducting direct and open meetings with the prisoners away from the presence of any guards or police personnel
• Providing a full and independent assessment of the human rights situation to issue the necessary recommendation.
In a report from a local newspaper, Dr al-Kuwari pointed out that so far the situation in the Detention Center is very positive. He stressed on the following:
• Free movement within the facility for the prisoners is guaranteed as they are not handcuffed or chained.
• The security administration concerned allows prisoners to submit their complaints through the approved legal channels and procedures without the fear of any backslash.
• The administration also informs the prisoners about any deaths or serious incidents among their close relatives. In case the issue is serious, the administration may allow the prisoner to visit his sick relative.
The NHRC member stressed that women prisoners are being well taken care of. He highlighted the following:
• Female inmates enjoy good health care.
• Those pregnant get due access to all the necessary follow-ups.
• Women with babies are given special care and diapers and milk for their babies.
• All of them are taught about dressmaking, embroidery and other related occupations to make better use of their prison terms.
The free practice of different religious rites inside Qatar prisons is fully granted without any discrimination among the followers of different faiths, affirmed Dr al-Kuwari.
In terms of spiritual practices, the following are observed in the Detention Center:
• All prisoners are allowed communication with their respective clergymen.
• Rooms of the prisoners and those detained comply with the related intentional standards. The same applies to the attached service facilities such as toilets, food halls, kitchens, and showers.