BBC crew arrested, detained and equipment taken away in Qatar

A BBC reporting crew was arrested and detained by the Qatari authorities ahead of a planned government tour of the World Cup accommodation for workers.

The crew included BBC journalist Mark Lobel, a cameraman, and a translator who spent 2 nights in detention while it was revealed they had been followed by security services and tracked for 48 hours.

The BBC issued a strongly worded statement condemning the action by Qatar, adding pressure to sponsors to take a harder line on FIFA to ensure working conditions are up to standard prior to the 2022 World Cup.

Journalist Mark Lobel was allegedly forced to sleep on a, “disgusting soiled mattress,” according to an AP report, and was given no food for the first day of detention.

The BBC issued this statement a short while ago regarding the incident:

“We are pleased that the BBC team has been released but we deplore the fact that they were detained in the first place. Their presence in Qatar was no secret and they were engaged in a perfectly proper piece of journalism.

“The Qatari authorities have made a series of conflicting allegations to justify the detention, all of which the team rejects. We are pressing the Qatari authorities for a full explanation and for the return of the confiscated equipment.”