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Swiss TV crew held in Qatar

Swiss television channel RTS says two of its sports reporters were detained by police without explanation in Qatar, the host country for the 2022 football World Cup.

This content was published on April 18, 2011 - 09:58
swissinfo.ch and agencies

The duo “were grounded on Qatari soil for two weeks without receiving a clear explanation of what they were accused of”, said the French-language public broadcaster on Sunday.

The journalist and the cameraman were filming a report on football in Qatar, when the incident occurred.

The pair were filming “landscape shots,” according to RTS, when they were stopped by a police patrol at Mesaieed and taken to a local police station, where they were handcuffed and interrogated for several hours.

The crew were required to pay a fine but did not receive either a report detailing their offence or a receipt, RTS said in a statement.

The cameraman had his camera confiscated before he and the journalist were freed, but without official authorisation to leave Qatar.

The pair returned to Switzerland at the end of last week following intervention from the Swiss embassy in Kuwait. Switzerland does not have diplomatic representation in Qatar.

“The arbitrary conduct of the Qatari police constitutes a serious violation of press liberty,” said Massimo Lorenzi, head of sports at RTS.

Qatar has not commented the incident.

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