Rights groups call Qatar to reveal about the situation of migrant rights activist

Accused of violating Qatar’s security laws and regulations, a Kenyan activist was taken into custody on May 5.

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Qatar has been asked by a group of rights groups, including Amnesty International, to reveal facts about the situation of a Kenyan rights activist who is active in the Gulf country. It was reported that Malcolm Bidali was taken into custody on May 5 in charge of violating Qatar’s security laws and regulations.

In a joint statement issued by MigrantRights.org, FairSquare, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, it was indicated that: “We are extremely concerned for his well-being, and that he may have been detained in reprisal for his legitimate human rights work. If Malcolm is detained solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression, he must be released immediately and unconditionally.”

Writing under the “Noah” nickname on his blog, Malcolm Bidali particularly touches upon issues related to migrant workers. It was reported that Bidali briefed a large group of civil society organizations and trade unions about migrants’ working conditions in Qatar a week before his arrest.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a Qatari government official commented on Bidali’s arrest, saying: “The individual retains all his rights under the law. All procedures of the investigation are being carried out in accordance with Qatari law.” Any information regarding where Bidali is being held has not been provided so far.

In recent times, Qatar has been frequently criticized for violating workers’ rights, particularly in a process where the gas-rich Gulf country prepares to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. In response, Qatar has introduced some reforms and regulations about labor rights, aiming to prevent criticisms targeting itself.

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