December 6, 2021

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NRK-journalistene Halvor Ekeland og Lokman Ghorbani ble natt til mandag arrestert av politiet i Qatar.

NRK journalists arrested in Qatar released – NRK Urix – Foreign News and Documentaries

Ekeland and Ghorbani were on a reporting tour of Qatar in connection with next year’s World Cup. According to the plan, they were to take a flight Sunday night and return to Norway. Monday at 6am Norwegian time.

Sunday marks the one year anniversary of the start of the championship in Qatar.

They are now, almost two days later, released and heading home to Norway.

The plane carrying the two journalists departed from Qatar just before midnight on Tuesday, Norwegian time.

– is in good condition

– We are very happy and relaxed at first, we both return home safely. I spoke to them early this morning. Then they suffered from what they experienced, but eventually got food and a little sleep. This case has become a high priority for us. We have done everything we can to free Corbani and Egland and bring them safely to Norway., Says Thor Gjermund Eriksen, director of broadcasting.

NRK Manager: Broadcasting Manager Thor Germond Erickson.

Photo: Hans Cosson-Eide / NRK

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed the recent arrest of two Norwegian journalists in Qatar.

– The Norwegian Embassy in Abu Dhabi has been in contact with the Qatari authorities regarding this case and we have confirmed that both have been released again. As far as we understand, no charges have been filed. Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt (Labor) writes in a statement to the NRK that we can confirm that both citizens work for the NRK and were arrested while performing their duties as journalists.

Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt

Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt.

Photo: Mates Glass Rasmussen / AB

As far as the NRK is concerned, concerns arose when journalists did not contact the editorial staff before departure. Through various sources, the NRK confirmed that they were not on the plane, and the channel management eventually learned that they had been arrested.

The NRK has no explanation as to why they were arrested.

Halvore Ecland in Qatar.

Qatar: One week ago one of the most important football stadiums to be built in Qatar and Doha was out of Ras Abu Abud, Holvore Ecland said. Behind the camera is Lokman Korbani.

Photo: Lockman Corbani / NRK

Holvore is a sports journalist at the Eckland NRK and has distinguished himself in several cases involving the Qatar World Cup in recent years. Lockman Corbani, NRK’s ​​photographer, has worked with Qatar and has traveled extensively overseas for the NRK in recent years.

Lockman Corbani

On the way home: Lockman Corbani is a photojournalist at NRK.

Photo: NRK

The two arrived in Qatar on Sunday, November 14th. Have to do one the next day Interview with regime critic, but he was arrested A few hours before the interview. This has been confirmed by Amnesty International.

The Football Association has strongly opposed this

Norwegian Football Association president Derje Sventson says he has reacted strongly to reports that two NRK journalists were arrested in Qatar on Monday night.

– Norwegian journalists We are glad to be home now. True, the arrest of Qatari officials by journalists involved in critical journalism is completely unacceptable. Svendsen tells the NRK that we react very strongly to this and are deeply concerned about the conditions of journalists in Qatar.

Football, FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, Germany - Norway

Derje Swentsen, President of the Norwegian Football Association.

Photo: VEGARD WIVESTAD GRØTT / BILDBYRÅN NORWAY

He announces that the Norwegian Football Association will raise the issue at the political level at FIFA.

– Our clear position will be communicated to the political level at FIFA and to the UEFA Committee on Qatar. More importantly, however, the Norwegian authorities are involved in this case. Swentsen says Qatar is a key partner of the Norwegian government and that a case in which Qatari authorities arrest Norwegian journalists is not a development that can be left to sports or the football movement alone.

– Media blockage is unbearable

Ekeland and Ghorbani included official identities, talking to public representatives and several workers about their conditions. The NRK administration says it is fully open at all times to the authorities in Qatar regarding the purpose of this reporting trip, which is to show a broader picture of what is happening in the country.

When the NRK did not liaise with Ekeland and Ghorbani, work began on contacting a large network of companies and communications, with the exception of the Foreign Ministry, to release Ekeland and Ghorbani.

On UN Qatar ranks 123rd in the world in terms of press freedom. Norway tops the list in terms of index compiled by Reporters Without Borders.

– We take very seriously the fact that two of our employees were arrested and interrogated in connection with their journalistic work. Freedom of the press is fundamental to the NRK and all independent media. We have not received any explanation from the authorities in Qatar, but it is difficult to explain anything other than the attack on the Free Press. Ericsson says it is unacceptable for the media to be barred from practicing an independent and independent press in connection with the world’s biggest sporting event.

Earlier in November, NFF Secretary-General Pål Bjerketvedt announced that they would take up press freedom in Qatar with FIFA. That’s when the Norwegian football magazine Josimir became the background He threatened to sue the World Cup organizer in Qatar after a lawsuit was filed by them.

– Very annoying

Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt (Labor) said it was important that journalists be allowed to carry out their journalistic work in Qatar without the intervention of the authorities.

– Freedom of expression is a key element of functioning democracy and is fundamental to the implementation of other human rights. The widespread and growing pressure on freedom of expression and the media in the world is of great concern. Qatari officials are familiar with the Norwegian situation. In a phone conversation last Monday I raised the human rights situation with the Qatari Foreign Minister, Huitfeldt writes to the NRK.

Controversial Championship

The Qatar Championship is highly controversial due to Qatar’s human rights violations.

Construction workers lay grass at Lucille Stadium in November.  The arena will house 80,000 spectators.  The stadium is located 15 kilometers outside the capital Doha.

Ready: Construction workers lay grass at Lucille Stadium in November. The arena will house 80,000 spectators. The stadium is located 15 kilometers outside the capital Doha.

Photo: Hamad in Mohammed / Reuters

According to Amnesty At least 6,500 guest workers have been killed in Qatar Since hosting the 2010 World Cup. Of these, 37 deaths were directly related to stadium construction.

In Norway, there has been a long-running debate over whether to boycott the World Cup. This summer, the football parliament voted to boycott the Qatar World Cup, as the NFF wanted. The association has promised to put pressure on both the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) and the host nation ahead of the championship.

Norwegian Since March this year, the national football team has marked itself with T-shirts Posters related to the inscription “Human Rights” and qualifying contests. The team repeated the selection in the last match against the Netherlands in November.

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