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Qatar has no Civil Society due to severe restrictions: Egypt’s SIS study

The rulers of Qatar have placed huge restrictions on the Qatari people’s right to freedom of association and actually made it practically impossible to establish an independent NGO.

Ahram Online , Monday 19 Oct 2020
SIS
Egypt's State Information Service (SIS)
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Egypt’s State Information Service (SIS) said on Monday that the Qatari regime considers Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and associations as tools that it can exploit in order to meddle in the affairs of other countries.

'This Qatari interference did not only take place in various Arab and Islamic countries, but it extended to Europe and the West too,' the SIS said in a study released on Monday.

It added that the rulers of Qatar have placed huge restrictions on the Qatari people’s right to freedom of association, and made it practically impossible to establish an independent Non-Governmental Organization.

The study said that the Qatari Emir and his entourage use Qatar foundation to spread chaos and extremism all over the world to the extent that this organization become synonymous with terrorism," the study pointed out.

The study also shed light on what it called the "crippling restrictions" imposed by Qatari laws on the right to freedoms, banning all civil society activity in Qatar, and granting the Qatari regime absolute powers to freely repress and stifle civil society movements with impunity.

Full Text:

Due to severe restrictions: Qatar has no Civil Society

A Study by the State Information Service

The Qatari regime considers non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and associations as mere tools that it can exploit in order to meddle in the affairs of other countries. This comes in the form of funding extremist organizations and shady associations.

This Qatari interference did not only take place in various Arab and Islamic countries, but it extended to the western world too.

On the other hand, the rulers of Qatar have placed huge restrictions on the Qatari people’s right to freedom of association and actually made it practically impossible to establish an independent NGO.

Qatar basically has no active NGOs, however it does have the Qatar Foundation, which is run by the government. The Emir and his entourage use this foundation to spread chaos and extremist all over the world to the extent that the name "Qatar Foundation" has become synonymous with terrorism.

This study prepared by the State Information Service reveals the crippling restrictions imposed by Qatari laws on the right to freedom of association, and it reveals as well the true colours of the repressive Qatari regime that stifles their people’s right to form NGOs without remorse or shame.

Attempting to register an Association…. An adventure that ends in rejection

At an age where responsible governments facilitate the regulations of registering an association through obliging the founders to only notify the competent authorities; the Qatari regime arbitrarily imposes stiff regulations through sub-article 12.8 of the law that requires applicants to submit a request for a NGO permit to the Minister that also has to be approved by the Prime Minister. The government may approve or reject such a request within a month, and if the government does not respond to the request it entails rejection, thus placing unnecessary restrictions to form associations.

Appealing to the oppressor

Qatari legislation allows citizens wishing to form a civil association to appeal the rejection before the same minister who issued it, according to the second paragraph of sub-article 12.7. Which defeats the purpose of submitting an appeal in the first place.

Associations may be disbanded on the whim of the authorities

Sub-article 12.27 of the law prevents associations from investing their funds as they see fit without the approval of the government. Sub-article 12.35 gives the government the power to disband an NGO if it loses 20 members, violates the entirety of article 12, or engages in any activities that are deemed political. The government may also suspend an NGO’s board of trustees for a whole year and appoint a temporary board of their choice to administer it.

If you engage in civil activities you may pay a fine or go to jail

According to sub-article 12.43, anyone who runs an unregistered NGO, or engages in activities deemed illegal by the regime, or illegally raises funds for an NGO can be imprisoned for up to a year, and has to pay a hefty fine that can reach up to QR 50,000.

Article 12 basically bans all civil activities in Qatar, and grants the Qatari regime absolute powers to freely repress and stifle civil movements with impunity. The world wonders how does Qatar preach freedom and democracy through its media trumpets, while it fails to grant its citizens the most basic rights and freedoms, including the right to freedom of association.

 

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