Norwegian journalist detained in Qatar after discussing exploited migrant workers

The Norwegian Broadcasting Company, NRK, is being pressed into making a public apology after its staff were detained and interrogated by the Qatari authorities during the World Cup. The staff was in Doha for an NRK production project which “focused on the invasion of the privacy of migrant workers in Qatar,” after nearly 60 workers committed suicide since 2012.

Earlier this month, at least three NRK reporters were detained by Qatari security officials at a private residence. NRK later made a statement saying that “some staff” were detained, and added that “they were asked to depart the hotel quickly in accordance with the security instructions.” The journalists were then released without charges.

“During the course of the two hours they were detained, the radio journalists were interrogated. They were asked to leave the premises,” the statement continued. “The journalists did not make a complaint to police authorities, and were not arrested.”

But Qatar’s Public Prosecutor General Aal al-Kuwari alleged that the journalists had trespassed into a garden adjacent to a residence, and accused the group of harassment, at a news conference on Sunday. The journalists were briefly interviewed by reporters before being escorted out.

NRK is now being asked to apologize and clarify if its journalists’ visit had been unauthorized by the Qatari authorities. The network is refusing to apologize, saying that Qatar had interfered with their efforts to report on the findings of a study on the matter.

According to the NRK statement, the Norwegian staff “encountered no restrictions on their movement” on the day of their arrest.

Read the full story at Foreign Policy and NRK.


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