Qatar detains German journalists over World Cup documentary
A German television crew was arrested, interrogated and had video equipment destroyed by Qatari authorities while filming a documentary about the building preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, a report has claimed.
A journalist, cameraman, his assistant and a driver were all detained in the Gulf state for five days after capturing contentious footage for a programme entitled The Selling of Football: Sepp Blatter and the Power of FIFA.
Only after some passionate lobbying from the German embassy were the crew allowed to return home.
Reporter Florian Bauer of the ARD network and his team had been investigating the poor labour and living conditions of construction workers involved in building the host stadiums for the tournament in 2022, that have been roundly condemned by human rights activists.
Bauer told The Telegraph, “There were interrogations by people from the intelligence service who said if I didn’t cooperate with them, it would work badly for me.”
Luckily, the crew was unharmed, but Bauer added: “Everything was deleted: phone, hard drives. A laptop got destroyed, got opened by I don’t know who.”
A Qatar 2022 source denied that the television crew were detained in order to hide any wrong-doing, but rather they rejected Bauer’s filming request because the government had already granted access to one sports reporter from the same network already.
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