Qatar: conviction of three Filipinos despite torture allegations strongly condemned
‘This case speaks volumes about the sincerity of the government’s stated commitment to extend justice to migrant workers’ - James Lynch
Amnesty International has condemned the convictions of three Filipino nationals on charges of espionage in Qatar.
Yesterday, Qatar’s Court of Cassation upheld one life sentence term and two sentences of 15 years’ imprisonment against three Filipino men.
One of the three, Ronaldo Lopez Ulep, was arrested in Doha in April 2010 and - according to information received by Amnesty - endured repeated bouts of physical and psychological torture for the first eight months of his detention in the state security prison. He was forced to sign a document in Arabic - a language which he could not read - that was later presented in court as a “confession”.
Amnesty International’s Middle and North Africa Deputy Director James Lynch said:
“The court’s decision to uphold the convictions of these three men after an unfair trial in which the authorities totally failed to investigate credible allegations of torture, is the latest demonstration of the deep flaws in Qatar’s criminal justice system, particularly as regards its treatment of migrant workers.
“This case speaks volumes about the sincerity of the government’s stated commitment to extend justice to migrant workers.
“The authorities should immediately announce a full investigation into these men’s torture allegations and review the way these trials have been conducted. All torture-tainted evidence must be excluded.”
Qatar’s treatment of foreign nationals, who make up more than 90% of the Qatari workforce, has come under intense scrutiny in the build-up to the country’s hosting of the 2022 football World Cup. In March Amnesty reported on serious abuses against migrant workers
involved in the construction of Doha’s Khalifa stadium which is set to host one the 2022 World Cup semi-finals.
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