Rights groups ask Qatar to disclose whereabouts of Kenyan blogger

Amnesty International asked for information about the man, who writes under the pseudonym Malcolm Bidali

Qatar’s human rights record is in the spotlight as it prepares to host the 2022 Fifa World Cup. Getty
Qatar’s human rights record is in the spotlight as it prepares to host the 2022 Fifa World Cup. Getty

Human rights groups including Amnesty International asked Qatar on Thursday to disclose the whereabouts of a Kenyan man who was taken for questioning last week.

The man has written about migrant rights in the Gulf state using the pseudonym of Malcolm Bidali.

He was taken from his residence by the state security service on the night of May 4.

The rights groups expressed concern for his well-being and called for his immediate release if his detention is based solely on “peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression”.

“Malcolm is a security guard, blogger and activist who has been vocal about the plight of migrant workers like himself and has written for a number of online platforms,” MigrantRights.org, FairSquare, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre wrote in a joint statement.

“A week before his arrest, Malcolm gave a presentation to a large group of civil society organisations and trade unions about his experience of working in Qatar.”

The country’s human rights record has been in the spotlight as it prepares to host the 2022 Fifa World Cup.

Doha has introduced labour reforms that aim to address some of these concerns.

A Qatari government official said a Kenyan national was taken into custody on May 5 and placed under investigation for flouting Qatar’s security laws and regulations.

“The individual retains all his rights under the law. All procedures of the investigation are being carried out in accordance with Qatari law,” the official said.

Updated: May 17, 2021 09:13 PM

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