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DOHA: In a major initiative, several ministries and government organisations in the country have been authorised to put their employees on social work for a specific period as a punishment for some minor offences.
Attorney General Dr Ali bin Futtais Al Merri (pictured) yesterday issued a decision based on the amendments in the penal law. The Heir Apparent H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani had issued a law (No 23 of 2009) amending some provisions of the penal law no 11 of 2004.
The amended law stipulates social work as a punishment for some minor violations as an alternative to jail or fine. The rule applies to offences that are punishable with imprisonment of not more than one year or fine of not more than QR1,000.
Several ministries and government departments have now been authorised to mete out punishment in the form of social work as specified in the
For example, the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs can ask an employee who has been found committing a minor offence to memorise verses from the Holy Quran or help others to do that. The offenders can also be put on cleaning and maintenance jobs in mosques for short periods.
The Supreme Education Council (SEC) has the authority to punish the offenders by forcing them to help in efforts to eradicate illiteracy. Employees of the Ministry of Interior involved in minor offences could be asked to take care of juveniles or assist civil defence personnel in their work.
The Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has been authorised to temporarily employ their erring staff for jobs like transferring patients from one ward to another or assisting in administrative jobs.
The social work specified for the Ministry of Environment is cleaning the beaches or other activities supporting preservation of the environment.
Cleaning streets, roads and squares and planting trees and saplings and maintenance of public parks is the kind of social work that can be assigned to employees of the Ministry and Municipality and Urban Planning.
Its erring staff can also be put on clerical or driving jobs in the food monitoring section.
The Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage can force its erring employees to organise, clean and maintain public libraries.
According to the law, the maximum duration of alternative punishment can be 12 days. If the offender refuses to accept the punishment, he will be jailed for a week for each day of his refusal to serve the alternative penalty.