Qatar: FIFA asks police not to treat women victims of sexual assault as criminals

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According to the Qur’an, sexual assault and rape must be public to be established in court: four male Muslim witnesses are required to have witnessed the act.

“And those who accuse honest women but do not bring four witnesses, give them eighty lashes and never accept their testimony, are truly criminals.” (Quran 24:4)

“Why didn’t they present four witnesses? Since they do not produce witnesses, they are indeed liars in the sight of Allah.” (Quran 24:13)

Paola Schietekat, mentioned below, did not have four witnesses, and as a woman her testimony was of less value than that of her accuser (cf. Qur’an 2:282). Consequently, her accusation became an exercise in self-incrimination. She was accused of having an affair when she reported being sexually assaulted due to the requirements of Islamic law in sexual assault cases. This is not limited to Qatar; Many rape victims are in prison in Pakistan.

“Qatar Police Have Had To Be Told Not To Treat Sexual Assault Victims Like Criminals,” By Emma Brazell, Metro, Nov 24, 2022 (thanks to Henry):

FIFA has asked Qatari police not to treat women as criminals if they report rape or sexual assault during the World Cup, according to a new report.

Pregnant women also should not “face any charges” and should receive medical attention if necessary, according to guidance issued by the soccer body’s safety and security team.

In the meantime, officers have been instructed not to approach, detain or prosecute people who ‘display rainbow or other flags of sexual identity’ and those who ‘show signs of affection’.

But the Qatari group responsible for planning and operating the tournament has said the document was “not developed or approved” by them or by any government body in the host nation.

The memo appears to be an attempt to overturn Qatari laws that severely limit women’s freedoms and can even punish those who are sexually assaulted.

Extramarital sex in Qatar is a crime and victims of rape or sexual assault can be charged with having sex outside of marriage, although this is at the discretion of the Public Ministry.

Paola Schietekat, 28, who worked for the World Cup organizing committee, was accused of having an affair when she reported being sexually assaulted last year, the Daily Mail reports.

She was accused of ‘extramartial [sic] sex’, even though she told officials that a colleague had broken into her apartment and attacked her.

The man was acquitted, but Ms Schietekat fled the country facing up to seven years and 100 lashes. The case against the Mexican native was dropped in April.

It is illegal to be pregnant and unmarried in Qatar and women are advised not to go to doctors if they are unmarried and possibly pregnant.

Women must also get permission from their male guardians to marry, study abroad on government scholarships, work in many government jobs, travel abroad up to certain ages, and receive some forms of reproductive health care.

FIFA’s Safety and Security Operations Committee (SSOC) memorandum sets out how police should respond to various scenarios during the World Cup.

He tells officers: ‘Women will not face any charges if they report rape or sexual violence/harassment’…

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