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Danish Journalists Union advises against travel to Qatar

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) – The Danish Journalists Union is urging all Danish journalists not to travel to Qatar to cover next year’s World Cup, saying the Arab country cannot be trusted.

“I don’t trust Qatar,” said Allan Boye Thulstrup, the union’s deputy leader. “I fear that critical government sources risk disappearing or going to prison for a long time, and that they will not be treated kindly in prison,” he added, speaking to the journalist magazine Journalisten on Wednesday.

“It is useless for Qatar to first promise that the press can work unhindered and then arrest journalists,” Boye Thulstrup said. His union has over 18,000 members.

The statement came in response to the detention by Qatari security forces of two Norwegian journalists and the deletion of their footage collected at a migrant labor camp as they tried to cover workers’ issues ahead of the World Cup football 2022.

The Qatari government accused the two journalists of “trespassing on private property and filming without a license” as they returned to Norway on Wednesday. They claimed they had verbal permission from those they filmed there. Their equipment was seized.

“Now the Qatari authorities know what is on the journalists’ equipment,” Boye Thulstrup said. “If (the journalists) have been in contact with sources critical to the government … then this is a process in which Qatar has bypassed all source protection.”


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