Crime in Qatar
Crime in Qatar is relatively low compared to industrialized nations. Petty crime such as pickpocketing and bag snatching does occur, but is extremely uncommon. Although incidents of violence are generally considered to be rare, violence has occurred more frequently due to increase in the population of Doha, the capital and largest city of Qatar, and economic pressures on expatriate workers during the last few years.
Qatar is a destination country for men and women from South and Southeast Asia who migrate willingly, but are subsequently forced into involuntary servitude as domestic workers and laborers, and, to a lesser extent, commercial sexual exploitation. The most common offense was forcing workers to accept worse contract terms than those under which they were recruited. Other conditions include bonded labor, withholding of pay, restrictions on movement, arbitrary detention, and physical, mental, and sexual abuse. Qatar is in Tier 3 rank; it failed to enforce criminal laws against traffickers, or to provide an effective mechanism to identify and protect victims. The nation detain and deport victims rather than providing them protection. The Government of Qatar made little progress to increase prosecutions for trafficking effectively in 2007.
Threat of terrorist attack is a matter of concern. Al-Qaeda has threatened Western citizens in the region. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) of the Government of Australia advised travelers "to exercise a high degree of caution in Qatar" due to high threat of terrorism. The DFAT claimed they received reports of terrorist plans to attack a range of targets in the nation. A suicide car bombing at the Doha Players theater on March 19, 2005, which was the first attack of its kind in the nation, killed a British citizen and injured twelve other people. The bomber was an Egyptian named Omar Ahmed Abdullah Ali. On March 17, 2005, Saleh al-Oufi, Saudi head of al-Qaeda, urged attacks against what he called "crusader" enemies in Qatar and in other countries like Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.
In the Corruption Perceptions Index 2007, Qatar was ranked 32nd out of 179 countries for corruption (least corrupt countries are at the top of the list). On a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being the most corrupt and 10 the most transparent, Transparency International rated Qatar 6.0.
According to Interpol data, criminal homicide rate in Qatar increased from 1.52 to 2.11 per 100,000 population between 1995 and 1999. It was an increase of 38.8%. The rate for rape decreased by 67.1%, but the rate of robbery increased by 100%. While the rate of robbery was 0.67 per 100,000 population in 1995, it increased to 1.34 per 100,000 population in 1999. Similarly the rate of aggravated assault, larceny and motor vehicle theft increased by 75.1%, 73.1% and 13.5% respectively.
- Qatar United States Department of State
- Qatar Government of Australia, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
- Qatar The World Factbook
- Qatar Foreign and Commonwealth Office
- Car bomb targets theatre in Qatar BBC News
- Protest rally over Qatar bombing BBC News
- Corruption Perceptions Index 2007 Transparency International