Qatar frees detained British rights researchers
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Two Britons 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 Tuesday.
Researcher Krishna Upadhyaya, 52, and photographer Ghimire Gundev, 36, went missing in the Qatari capital of Doha on Aug. 31 as they were preparing to leave the country. Qatari authorities confirmed 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 organization 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. Labor 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.