Qatar has confirmed that the two British employees of the Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD), who had mysteriously disappeared while investigating the working conditions of migrant Nepalese workers involved in the construction projects of the 2022 World Cup, are being held by authorities for violating the "laws of the State of Qatar," Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported on Saturday (6 September).
A Foreign Ministry statement released on the Qatar News Agency confirmed that the British human rights activists from GNRD, Krishna Upadhyaya and Ghimire Gundev, were arrested by security officials in Qatar on 31 August 31, 2014, and "are currently being interrogated for having violated the provisions of the laws of the State of Qatar," reported QNA.
"All of the actions that have been taken against the two Britons are consistent with the principles of human rights enshrined in the Constitution and the laws of the State of Qatar," said the Director of the Department of Consular Affairs at the Foreign Ministry in a statement released on Saturday (6 September).
A British Embassy representative has reportedly visited the two Britons, and the embassy is in direct contact with the Qatari Foreign Ministry and the investigating authorities.
The Norwegian-based International NGO, GNRD, has also released a statement from Krishna Upadhyaya that was passed on through the British Embassy representative who visited the two researchers held captive in Doha.
"I am well, I have been well looked after and I will be home soon. We have been arrested due to problems with our paperwork", said Upadhyaya as quoted on GNRD.
Despite expressing relief upon finally hearing of their employees' welfare, GNRD confirmed that it has "not yet received an official answer," however it is actively seeking to bring Upadhyaya and Gundev home.
Upadhyaya and Gundev were in Qatar since 27 August working on a report for GNRD and researching on the state of Nepalese migrant workers.
"On the evening of 30th August, Mr. Upadhyaya contacted his friend in Norway reporting that he and his co-worker, Mr. Gundev, were being harassed and followed by Qatari police. Mr. Upadhyaya and Mr. Gundev were scheduled to depart Qatar the following morning, 31st August," read a statement released by GNRD on 3 September.
They were both scheduled to fly out of Doha and had checked out of their hotels, but never made it to their flights.
Qatar had earlier pledged to improve working conditions of migrant workers after rights groups had urged Fifa to review their decision to award the global tournament to the Emirate.
The Emirate has now come under renewed criticism.
— Aidan McQuade (@the_mcquade) September 6, 2014
— Aidan McQuade (@the_mcquade) September 7, 2014