Journalist Mark Lobel and his team were in Doha to document the ever-growing concerns over working conditions in the run up to the 2022 World Cup, when they found themselves arrested and locked up.
Qatari officials have decided to go ahead and lock up a BBC journalist and his crew. It seems journalists can never get a break when it comes to doing their jobs in the Middle East. Despite major concerns over labour laws and the mistreatment of migrant workers, Qatar has been selected to host the 2022 World Cup and the BBC journalists were invited by the prime minister himself on a PR tour to help boost Qatar's image.
The journalist had initially gone to Qatar to document the working conditions of low-paid migrant workers. On their way to go meet Nepalese migrant workers in Doha for their report, Mark Lobel and his crew were apparently surrounded by eightwhite cars while being frisked and shouted at.
You can probably assume by now the series of unfortunate events that took place after that encounter. Lobel and his crew were promptly taken to the police station and upon arrival had all their equipment confiscated.
As if things couldn't get any worse, the crew spent two nights in a Qatari jail and had to endure hours of rough interrogation. After Lobel and his crew were moved for a second round of interrogation, where they were threatened with further imprisonment and deprived of food for a day, they were released.
On top of all this the police had the audacity to let them continue doing what they came to Qatar to do in the first place, except with no equipment. To put the cherry on the sundae, Lobel and his crew won a grand prize of a travel ban as well.
Let’s see if FIFA can help change anything as they released a statement saying: “Any instance relating to an apparent restriction of press freedom is of concern to FIFA and will be looked into with the seriousness it deserves."