Qatar releases two Norwegian journalists after detention

Qatari has launched two journalists from Norway who have been arrested whereas reporting on poor working circumstances for migrants constructing infrastructure for subsequent yr’s FIFA World Cup, their employer mentioned Wednesday. 

Halvor Ekeland, a sports activities reporter for public broadcaster NRK, and Lokman Ghorbani, an NRK photographer, have been within the small Gulf nation to report on preparations for soccer’s largest match. 

NRK reported that the pair have been arrested outdoors their resort and held for greater than 30 hours. Qatari safety forces reportedly confiscated their gear and compelled them to delete their footage. 

Doha has confronted criticism over its remedy of migrants, who comprise a majority of Qatar’s inhabitants. Rights teams say numerous stadium staff have died on the job as a result of poor labor circumstances. Qatar has pushed again on the criticism and factors to a number of landmark labor reforms the nation has enacted since profitable its bid in 2020 to host the World Cup. 

In an announcement Wednesday, the Qatari authorities accused Ekeland and Ghorbani of trespassing on personal property and filming with no allow.

“They were provided with all the filming permits they had requested prior to their arrival and were offered meetings with senior government and third-party officials,” the federal government communications workplace mentioned. “These freedoms, however, do not override the application of common law, which the crew knowingly and wilfully violated.”

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere known as their arrest “unacceptable.”

“A free press is crucial in a functioning democracy,” he tweeted. “I am very happy that Halvor Ekeland and Lokman Ghorbani have now been released.”

The Norwegian overseas ministry summoned the Qatari ambassador in protest. Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt advised NRK that Ekeland and Ghorbani “have been arrested whereas performing their duties as journalists.”

Reporters Without Borders ranks Qatar 128 out of 180 international locations in its Press Freedom Index; Norway tops the listing of getting the world’s most free media. 


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