Qatar explains the arrest of NRK’s reporters by saying that the journalists have entered the private area illegally to film.
Qatar authorities claim the two NRK journalists Halvor Ekeland and Lokman Ghorbani broke the country’s laws by entering private territory and filming without permission.
Authorities arrested them at the hotel after receiving a complaint from the owner of a private property where they entered illegally, Qatar’s official communications office (GCO) wrote in a statement.
They further write that the reporters were released without any charge after having “carried out the necessary legal proceedings”. The authorities in Qatar claim that the Norwegian embassy in NRK’s management was updated on the situation as it developed.
The authorities point out that property infringement (tree care) is illegal in almost all countries and that this also applies in Qatar.
They also write that NRK had the opportunity to film that they had asked in advance and that they were allowed to interview those they wanted.
“However, these freedoms do not go beyond ordinary law, which the team knowingly and willfully violated,” GCO wrote in its statement.
On Wednesday, NRK journalist Halvor Ekeland did not want to comment to VG if they had done something they had been told not to do. He informed the newspaper that they have traveled around and tried “to see what we think is important to see”, including how the stadiums for next year’s World Cup look like and how the guest workers are treated.
The article will be updated.