Qatar frees British rights researchers

This undated combination photos released by the Global Network for Rights and Development shows GNRD employees, Ghimire Gundev, a photographer from London, left, and his colleague Krishna Upadhyaya, a researcher. The two have been released in Qatar after being detained by the Gulf state for alleged illegal activity.   | Photo Credit: Uncredited

Two Britons, Krishna Upadhyaya and Ghimire Gundev, detained in Qatar while researching migrant worker issues in the Gulf state that is due to host the 2022 World Cup have been released, the rights group that employs them said on Tuesday.

Researcher Mr. Upadhyaya, 52, and photographer Mr. Gundev, 36, went missing in the Qatari capital of Doha on August 31 as they were preparing to leave the country. Qatari authorities confirmed on Saturday they were arrested for unspecified violations of Qatari law.

The Global Network for Rights and Development, the men’s employer, said that they have been set free but have not yet left Qatar. It said it does not have details on the reason for their detention.

“The news is a fantastic relief for the families... and all those who have been following the case,” the group said in a statement, adding that it spoke to Upadhyaya on Monday night and that both men are doing well.

The Global Network for Rights and Development is based in Stavanger, Norway, and describes itself on its website as a neutral organisation set up in 2008 to promote human rights and development.

It has been critical of Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers in the past. Qatar, like other Gulf Arab states, relies on vast numbers of mainly Asian low-paid migrant workers. Labour rights activists have raised concerns about dangerous working conditions, allegations of unpaid salaries and other abuses since Qatar won the right to host the 2022 World Cup.

Qatar has said the men were arrested for “having violated the provisions of the laws of the state of Qatar”. Officials in Doha had no immediate comment on the men’s release.

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2021 12:34:29 PM |

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