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Original name: قانون رقم 11 لسنة 2018 بتنظيم اللجوء السياسي
Name: Law No. 11 of 2018 on regulating Political Asylum.
Country: Qatar
Subject(s): Migrant workers
Type of legislation: Law, Act
Adopted on: 2018-10-21
Entry into force:
ISN: QAT-2018-L-107347
Bibliography: Legislation online in Arabic Legislation online in Arabic Ministry of Justice, Qatar, P. 9 - P. 16 PDF in Arabic PDF in Arabic (consulted on 2018-10-30)
Abstract/Citation: Article 1 of the Law refers to a refugee as “a political asylee,” which it defines as “any person outside his country of nationality or habitual residency if he is not a citizen, who is unable or unwilling to return to this country due to a justified fear of execution or bodily punishment, torture, inhumane or degrading treatment, or persecution, on account of his ethnicity, religion, or affiliation with a specific social group, or due to his political beliefs.”

Article 6 says the interior minister can grant a person petitioning for asylum three months of temporary residency, subject to renewal, until a final decision is made. The law does not make clear, however, whether the holder of a temporary residency permit is allowed to work or is eligible for the same social benefits as permanent residency permit holders. Qatar should extend these benefits to temporary residency permit holders.

Article 7 stipulates that the interior minister will decide on an asylum petition within three months of receiving a recommendation from the Committee for Political Asylee Affairs, but that no response will constitute a rejection of the petition. Three months is a short time frame, particularly since the default is rejection of the claim. Unless the applicant has failed to appear for asylum proceedings, the law should require implicit rejections for failure to determine the applicant’s status.

Article 8 allows a rejected asylum petitioner to appeal to the prime minister but does not permit an appeal before a court or judicial tribunal for a full examination of both facts and points of law. The law also does not require the governing bodies to make known the justifications for rejection. The law should be amended to include reference to fair and complete procedures for examining asylum petitions, including non-adversarial and confidential interviews, and the right to appeal a rejected claim to a court or tribunal.

Article 9 grants recognized refugees the right to obtain a travel document, to work or receive unemployment benefits, to worship, and to seek litigation. Recognized refugees are also entitled to government health care, education, and housing.

Although article 9 gives refugees the right to freedom of movement, article 10 requires refugees to seek approval if they want to move from their government-assigned place of residence, unlike other lawful permanent residents.

Article 11 prohibits asylum seekers and recognized refugees from engaging in political activity while residing in Qatar and says the interior minister can deport them to a country of their choosing if they do.

Article 15 prohibits returning a refugee to “his country of origin or to another country in which he fears he will be in danger or subject to persecution.”
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