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British-Nepali journalist and activist team detained in Qatar

UPDATE 9 September 2014: British-Nepali journalist Gunadev Ghimire & human rights worker Krishna Upadhyaya, detained in Qatar since August 31, have been released. (International Federation of Journalists)

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) have raised concerns for the welfare of a journalist and a human rights worker detained in Qatar since August 31 and called for their immediate release.

Journalist Gundev Ghimire, 36, and human rights worker Krishna Upadhyay, 52, both British-passport holders of Nepali origin, were in Qatar filming a documentary about the treatment of migrant Nepali workers in Qatar under a project funded by the Norway-based Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD) when they lost contact with friends.

They were due to leave Qatar on August 31 but didn't board the planes after Upadhyay sent text messages to his friends that plain-clothed police were following them. Ghimire is a member of FNJ's UK Chapter.

Qatar's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Sunday, September 7, confirmed the pair had been detained for investigation and that security forces had treated the men in accordance with international human rights law.

The FNJ said: “The FNJ demands the Government of Qatar, and concerned governments, to take action initiating the immediate release of journalist Ghimire and human rights worker Upadhyay.”

The IFJ said: “It's against the basic principles of freedom of information and press freedom to detain the two foreigners who were working on a documentary in a lawful manner. Unless they have committed other criminal offence, we demand their immediate release and call on the Qatari Government to ensure they have safe passage out of the country.”
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