Principal subjects of concern and recommendations
Pending follow-up issues from the previous reporting cycle
While noting with appreciation the information provided by the State party on 10
March 2014 under the follow-up procedure (CAT/C/QAT/CO/2/Add.1), the Committee still
considers that the recommendations included in paragraphs 10 (fundamental legal
safeguards), 14 (complaints and prompt, thorough and impartial investigations) and 19
(violence against women, including domestic violence) of the previous concluding
observations (CAT/C/QAT/CO/2) have not yet been implemented (see paras. 13, 23 and 45,
respectively, of the present document).
Absolute prohibition of torture
The Committee is concerned that there is no clear provision in the State party’s
legislation to ensure that the prohibition of torture is absolute and non-derogable. It also
regrets that the State party continues to maintain a vaguely defined reservation of imprecise
scope to articles 1 and 16 of the Convention (arts. 1, 2 (2), 4 and 16).
The State party should unambiguously reaffirm the absolute prohibition of
torture and publicly announce that anyone committing such acts or being found to be
otherwise complicit or acquiescent in torture will be held personally responsible
before the law for such acts and will be subject to criminal prosecution and
appropriate penalties. In particular, the State party should:
Ensure that its legislation reflects the absolute prohibition of torture, in
accordance with article 2 (2) of the Convention, which stipulates that no exceptional
circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political
instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification for
torture. The Committee draws the attention of the State party to paragraph 5 of its
general comment No. 2 (2007) on the implementation of article 2, in which it states,
inter alia, that exceptional circumstances also include any threat of terrorist acts or
violent crime, as well as armed conflict, international or non-international. In addition,
the Committee states in the same general comment that it rejects any religious or
traditional justification that would violate that prohibition;
Give further consideration to withdrawing its reservation to articles 1
and 16 of the Convention, in accordance with article 19 of the Vienna Convention on
the Law of Treaties.
Criminalization of torture
While taking note of the explanations offered by the State party’s delegation that the
crime of torture carries a minimum penalty of three years’ imprisonment (see arts. 22 and
159 bis of the Criminal Code), the Committee remains concerned that perpetrators of acts
of torture may receive a reduced sentence under article 92 of the Criminal Code (arts. 1 and
The State party should ensure that the crime of torture is punishable by
appropriate penalties that take into account its grave nature, in accordance with
article 4 (2) of the Convention.
Statute of limitations
The Committee is concerned that the crime of torture is subject to a statute of
limitations of 10 years, pursuant to article 14 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
The State party should establish that there is no statute of limitations for the
offence of torture, in order to preclude any risk of impunity in relation to the
investigation of acts of torture and the prosecution and punishment of perpetrators.