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19th Feb 2022

Mexican woman faces 100 lashes and prison sentence after being sexually assaulted in Qatar


Paolo Schietekat has since left Qatar, where the charges against her still stand

A Mexican woman faces a sentence of 100 lashes and a prison term of up to seven years after she reported being sexually abused while working in Qatar.

Paolo Schietekat had been working for the 2022 World Cup organising committee in the country when, in June of last year, she says she was raped by a man who also threatened to kill her.

Having reported what happened, Schietekat was surprised to discover that, instead of protecting her, authorities accused her of extramarital affairs.

Schietekat, an economist and anthropologist, was later told by her lawyers that marrying her alleged aggressor was a possible way of avoiding conviction. Upon hearing this, she opted to leave Doha, turning her back on what she says was a dream job.

Charges against her are still valid and the sentence could be announced early next month. The law states that she could face a seven-year prison term – as well as 100 lashes.

Schietekat’s account adds to a string of concerning headlines about Qatar as its World Cup approaches. The sheikhdom’s preparations for the tournament have taken place against a backdrop of intense scrutiny of the country’s human rights records and treatment of migrant workers.

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