France will secure the FIFA World Cup in Qatar

ifthey had to have problems, they would have the right to a lawyer. They would be informed of the charges against them and they could ask to be confronted with prosecution witnesses. They would be prosecuted only for offenses provided for by national legislation. Neither the death penalty nor flogging could be required against them, or if they were, the penalties would not be applied.

These are the main provisions on the legal protection of some 220 French people, GIGN shock responders, agents of the national division for the fight against hooliganism or specialists in the fight against drones, who are going to Qatar to assist the local law enforcement during the 2022 World Cup, from November 21 to December 18, 2022.

The assistance of the French police mentioned in a senatorial report

They are mentioned in a report submitted by UDI Senator Olivier Cadic to the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee on February 9, 2022, while the upper house was preparing to examine the bill on the « partnership relating to the security of the FIFA World Cup 2022”. The National Assembly adopted it on August 5. Apparently, failures in the Champions League final in Saint-Denis on May 28 did not deter the Qataris from calling on French expertise.

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The guarantees requested by Paris fall within the vital minimum in criminal proceedings, which says a lot about the archaisms of a judicial system based on Sharia. Homosexuality and apostasy are still punishable by death in Qatar, in theory. In practice, the country is not comparable to Saudi Arabia (where 81 people were beheaded on March 15, 2022 alone). There has been no execution since that of a Nepalese in 2020 and the previous one dated back to 2003. Torture is officially prohibited, but it was still practiced in police stations or prisons until a few years ago, according to Amnesty International. Inhuman punishments do not occur, with one subtlety: flogging is not one of them.

Mercantilism assumed on the French side

The French authorities have not uncovered the Qatari police and their arbitrariness this year. Cooperation between the two countries’ law enforcement agencies began in earnest in 2015, with a draft reciprocal « status of forces » agreement. Then came the signing of a letter of intent on the police and national defense between the President of the Republic and the Emir of Qatar, in December 2017. In March 2019, a cooperation contract “relating to the security of the World Cup » was signed between Emir Al-Thani and Prime Minister Édouard Philippe, as well as a security agreement on « the exchange and protection of classified information » between the two countries.

Finally, in November 2019, France and Qatar signed a global agreement, whose “jurisdiction clause” protects French soldiers and police stationed in the emirate against possible legal slippages. The legal protection measures of the World Cup security partnership in fact repeat provisions already written in this global agreement.

Is this long-term collaboration with the Qataris totally disinterested? No, replies UDI Senator Olivier Cadic frankly, in his report to the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, tabled on February 9, 2022. The friendship “has been strengthened by the signing of major contracts, as demonstrated by the purchase of 36 Rafale” delivered in 2019. The additional step taken for the World Cup explicitly aims to “support French manufacturers in presenting solutions adapted to the needs expressed by the partner”. In any case, underlines the senator, the country “cannot ensure alone the management of the security of such an event”. While Qatar officially has 2.4 million inhabitants, it is preparing to receive 1.2 million visitors…

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