Originally published on September 12, 2014, at ForceChange.com
Target: Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar
Goal: Free human rights workers secretly abducted by the police
Researching human rights abuses against migrant workers living in Qatar, two British citizens have recently disappeared while under police surveillance. After being harassed and followed by law enforcement officials, the two human rights activists checked out of their hotel and were never seen again. The government of Qatar must release these activists immediately and prosecute anyone involved in their abduction.
While working for the Global Network for Rights and Development, a Norwegian human rights group, Krishna Upadhyaya and Ghimire Gundev flew to Qatar to investigate the treatment of migrant workers constructing the facilities for FIFA’s 2022 World Cup. The night before their disappearance Krishna Upadhyaya sent a message to a friend in Norway about the heavy police surveillance and harassment being conducted against them. On the day of their disappearance, many people reported seeing numerous plain-clothed policemen surveying their hotel.
After checking out of the hotel, the human rights workers were scheduled to catch flights back to London and Norway, but they never arrived at the airport. Instead, Upadhyaya and his photographer, Gundev, disappeared sometime after checking out of the hotel. Repeatedly attempting to contact Qatar authorities has proven futile. Global Network for Rights and Development project manager, Fahad Atalla, believes Qatar security forces are responsible for their disappearance.
By signing the petition below you will urge the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, to release these human rights workers and punish anyone involved in their abduction.
Dear Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani,
Recently, two British human rights activists disappeared in your country while under heavy police surveillance. Employed by the Norwegian human rights group, Global Network for Rights and Development, Krishna Upadhyaya and Ghimire Gundev checked out of their hotel and were never seen again. Your government needs to release these human rights activists and prosecute all those responsible for their sudden disappearance.
Since law enforcement officials were conducting surveillance against Upadhyaya and Gundev, the police either abducted the human rights workers or they know who kidnapped them and simply refuse to help. Violating their rights is an act of cowardice, and an investigation must be launched immediately to ensure the safe return of these British citizens. Their only crime was attempting to protect the rights of construction workers in your country. Upadhyaya and Gundev do not deserve arbitrary arrests and possible assassinations for improving the lives of the people working for you. If you truly have any power, you will release them immediately and ensure that this never happens again.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: McOleo via Wikimedia Commons