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Qatar: Anti-Terror Legislation Amended

(Aug. 16, 2017) On July 20, 2017, the Amir of Qatar issued Decree No. 4 of 2017 to amend Law No. 11 of 2004 on combating terrorism. Decree No. 4 of 2017 covers the definition of acts of terrorism.  (Qatar Amir Issues Decree to Amend Provisions of Anti-Terror Law, AL ARABIYA (July 20, 2017).)

Specifically, article 1 of the newly enacted legislation modifies article 333 of Law No. 11 of 2004 on the definition of acts of terrorism. The new article stipulates, “[a]nyone other than those authorized by law who violates the inviolability of the private life of individuals without their consent shall be punished by imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years and by a fine not exceeding 10,000 riyals [about US$2,695].” Under article 333, acts of terrorism include the following:

  1. Destroying a special message or cable addressed to another individual;
  2. Electronically eavesdropping on a phone call or, wiretapping;
  3. Recording or transferring conversations held in a private place, by means of a device of any kind; and
  4. Capturing or transferring pictures or videos of an individual or individuals in a private place, by means of a device of any kind. (Law No. 4 of 2017, Amending Law No.11 of 2004, 4 AL JARIDAH AL-RASMYIAH (Mar. 3, 2017) (in Arabic).)

The recent modification of Law No. 11 of 2004 comes after the signing of a bilateral agreement between the Government of the State of Qatar and the Government of the United States to fight terrorist funding.  (Qatar Amir Issues Decree to Amend Provisions of Anti-Terror Law, supra.)  The agreement lays out a series of steps that each country will take in the coming months and years to interpret and disable terrorist financing and to intensify counter-terrorism activities. (U.S., Qatar Sign Agreement on Combating Terrorism Financing, REUTERS (July 10, 2017).)

Prepared by Abdullah Alkayat Alazemi, Law Library intern, under the supervision of George Sadek,  Legal Research Analyst.