South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

Published in e-Kantipur on Sep. 04 ::

Two British human rights workers of Nepalese extraction investigating the plight of migrant labourers constructing facilities for Qatar’s 2022 World Cup have disappeared and are feared to be held incommunicado by the Gulf state’s security forces, British national morning newspaper The Independent has reported.

Krishna Upadhyaya, 32, and Gundev Ghimire, 36, vanished on Sunday afternoon after sending texts to colleagues saying they were being followed by plain clothes police officers and feared they arrest as they tried to leave Qatar on flights that day.

They were in the Qatari capital Doha to record interviews with Nepali labourers and investigate conditions in accommodation camps. They were working in cooperation with Nepalese diplomats in the city.

The Norwegian charity employing the men said it had heard nothing from them for three days and received no information from the Qatari authorities despite multiple requests to officials in Doha to establish their whereabouts.

The Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD) said it believed its employees were being held by the Qatari police and were at risk of maltreatment or torture.

Mr Upadhyaya, 52, who moved to Norway recently from London, travelled to Doha last week to film material with Mr Gundev, 36, for a forthcoming report on living conditions for Nepalese workers. But after being advised it would be impossible to gain access to the camps he arranged to work from the Nepalese embassy to interview workers collecting visas.