Qatar’s public prosecution has charged Kenyan men writing about immigrant rights in the Gulf Arab state by accepting payments to disseminate distorting information, the government communications office (GCO) said on Saturday.
Malcolm Bidali, written under a pseudonym, was arrested on May 5 for violating Qatar̵7;s security law, according to Qatar officials. Human rights groups have voiced concerns that their detention may be retaliation for human rights work. Read more about studying in Pakistan
“Mr Bidali has been formally charged with an offense in connection with payments made by foreign agents from creating and distributing distorted information within the state of Qatar,” the GCO said in a statement, without elaborating.
It said his case was transferred to prosecutors after a thorough investigation and Bidali “received legal advice and representation before a court date, which had not yet been determined”.
Human rights groups including Amnesty International said in a statement on Friday that Father Lee, a security guard and blogger, told his mother on the phone on May 20 that he was in solitary confinement and had no access. Attorney
Qatar’s official National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said officials provided unrestricted access to Bidali and “he was being treated appropriately”.
The NHRC added officials from the Kenyan embassy to visit him and he has contact with his family and the International Labor Organization (ILO).
Bidali, having a week before his arrest, presented to a large civil society organization and trade union about his experience working in Qatar, according to Amnesty ‘previous statement, Migrant-Rights.org, Human Rights. Watch, FairSquare and the Business & Human Rights Resource Center.
Qatar’s human rights record is in the spotlight as it prepares to host the 2022 World Cup, especially on the living and working conditions of immigrants.
Doha has introduced labor reforms aimed at addressing some of the concerns.
Our Standard: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principle.