By Andy Sambidge
Police reportedly quiz two broadcasters for 27 hours after trying to film working conditions
Two German broadcasters have claimed they were detained by Qatari police as they attempted to investigate the plight of migrant labourers in Doha.
Peter Giesel, a film-maker and the head of a Munich-based production company, and his cameraman Robin Ahne told the UK's Guardian newspaper they were detained for 27 hours after filming the working conditions of labourers.
"They said they just wanted to talk to us, but it wasn't clear about what," Giesel told the UK paper. "But the interrogations went on for several hours and then the security police got involved. They were talking about us sparking a riot by talking to the workers... and that's why we got detained and put in jail."
They added that they were treated well while in custody, but were told their equipment was being confiscated as they had been filming without permission
The pair were following up on the Guardian's investigation into the conditions endured by many of the 1.2 million migrant workers who have flooded into the country on the back of a construction boom connected to the 2022 World Cup tournament.
Giesel was quoted as saying: "They were explaining, saying we know everything's not right in our country."
The footage shot by the German broadcasters has been acquired by Sky Sports News.
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) earlier this month claimed 4,000 labourers, mostly from South Asia and Africa, could die during the construction of stadiums and associated infrastructure for the World Cup.
The union’s figure is based on a revelation revealed last month that 44 Nepalese workers died on World Cup construction sites during summer this year.
Last week, a leading Qatari minister hit out at reports in the UK press criticising the conditions of foreign labourer working on infrastructure for the FIFA 2022 World Cup and dismissed claims thousands of workers will die as “malicious propaganda”.
“If some foreign media maligns the image of Qatar and spreads malicious propaganda, it is like crossing the red line. So there is a need to investigate and bring the truth before the world,” Hussain Al Mulla, an undersecretary at the labour and social affairs ministry, was quoted as saying by The Peninsula newspaper.
Guilty of something Qatari's?
Why are some Arab nations so sensitive about transparency? It is time they grew up and stopped their childish tantrums every time someone criticized or investigated them.
Spreading the truth can actually get you arrested in this part of the world.. true story!