That is the only way to describe the US State Department’s 2010 Human Rights Report on Qatar, which came out this week.
Even though Qatar is a strong American ally, the report minces no words about how far the country is from where it wants to be.
Right from the get-go, the report states that here in Qatar:
- Citizens lacked the right to change the leadership of their government by election.
- There were prolonged detentions in crowded facilities, often ending with deportation.
- The government placed restrictions on civil liberties, including freedoms of speech, press (including the Internet), assembly, association, and religion.
- Foreign laborers faced restrictions on travel abroad.
- Trafficking in persons, primarily in the labor and domestic worker sectors, was a problem.
- Legal, institutional, and cultural discrimination against women limited their participation in society.
- The unresolved legal status of “Bidoons” (stateless persons with residency ties) resulted in discrimination against these noncitizens.
There are some bright spots, such as the government’s willingness to grant custody of children to mothers in the event of a divorce, regardless of her religion.
And there is some odd information as well – apparently, Qatari law prohibits same-sex relations between men but is silent concerning same-sex relations between women.
But overall, the report goes into explicit detail about all of the restrictions that people in Qatar face.
What do you guys think? Do you feel like living in Qatar has somehow made you less free?