Qatar regime arrests journalists investigating football World Cup corruption


This video is called Slave labour for Qatar’s World Cup.

From Middle East Eye:

Qatar arrests journalists investigating alleged World Cup corruption

A team of reporters were detained by Qatari police and intelligence services for their documentary on the country’s FIFA 2022 World Cup bid

Thursday 7 May 2015 11:35 BST

A team of German journalists who were working on a documentary investigating claims of corruption regarding Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup were arrested by police in the Gulf state before being released, it emerged on Wednesday.

Journalists from the WDR and ARD channels, two of the biggest public broadcasting networks in Germany, who were working on a documentary titled “The Selling of Football – Sepp Blatter and the Power of FIFA,” were detained on 2 April for 14 hours before their release.

A statement from WDR confirmed that professional and personal equipment were confiscated by Qatari security services before being returned damaged to the German journalists four weeks later.

“The WDR team was arrested during a shooting with workers in the Qatari capital Doha, then interrogated by the State Security and only released after 14 hours,” the statement read. “The WDR employees were not allowed to leave Qatar for five days.”

“The camera equipment, laptops and personal mobile phones were confiscated and returned only after a four-week delay. All data has been deleted and pieces of equipment were damaged.”

The international watchdog Reporters Beyond Borders condemned Qatar’s detainment of the foreign journalists, calling on the government to allow for an “unhindered” work access.

“The government in Doha has to ensure that foreign journalists can investigate critical topics such as the situation of human rights in Qatar unhindered,” said Christian Mihr, the executive director of Reporters Without Borders’ German section. “Since Qatar is seeking the international spotlight with this international sports event, it will have to face up to a critical global public.”

The ARD channel aired a report on Monday that interviewed Nepalese workers about their squalid living conditions. Florian Bauer, the journalist for ARD who was detained by Qatar, told the channel that the available footage was smuggled out on USB sticks out of Qatar.

Qatar has been under fire for its labour laws, and international scrutiny has been directed at the migrants’ living and working conditions. Amidst growing concern over the poor treatment of migrant workers and labourers in Qatar, the Guardian reported last year that around 400 Nepalese workers had died building infrastructure projects and facilities for the 2022 World Cup.

See also here.

UCATT yesterday backed the ITUC’s decision to get behind Dutch football president Michael van Praag to be the next Fifa president, saying he offers the best hope to the abused Qatari migrant workers building the infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup: here.

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