Qatar detains Kenyan guard who wrote on laborers’ struggles
An employee at GSS Certis who gave his name as Puvan said he didn’t know where Bidali was.
“We were told that this is still under investigation so have no detail on that,” he said.
Security guards in Qatar at two companies also recently held what they described as strikes over pay and labor issues. Only Qatari nationals with the General Union of Workers of Qatar have the right to strike, according to the Washington-based group Freedom House.
Foreign laborers and household help “who engage in labor protests risk deportation,” Freedom House said in a recent report. Qatar’s government said it intervened in both cases.
The Kenyan Embassy in Qatar did not respond to requests for comment. In a letter to Qatari officials human rights groups, including Amnesty International, FairSquare and Human Rights Watch, said they feared Bidali had been held “without access to a lawyer or consular assistance.”
“We are extremely concerned for his well-being and safety,” they wrote.
Qatar, a small nation on the Arabian Peninsula, is home to the state-funded Al-Jazeera satellite news network. However, expression in the country remains tightly controlled.
“While residents enjoy some freedom of private discussion, security forces reportedly monitor personal communications and noncitizens often self-censor to avoid jeopardizing their work and residency status,” Freedom House said. “Social media users can face criminal penalties for posting politically sensitive content.”
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