Success: Missing Human Rights Activists Released

Originally published on September 18, 2014, at ForceChange.com

Target: Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar

Goal: Applaud the release of human rights workers who were secretly abducted by the police

Researching human rights abuses against migrant workers living in Qatar, two British citizens disappeared while under heavy police surveillance. After being harassed and followed by law enforcement officials, the two human rights activists checked out of their hotel to return home and simply vanished. A previous ForceChange petition demanded the immediate release of these two human rights workers, and thankfully, the activists have been freed.

While working for the Norwegian human rights group, the Global Network for Rights and Development, 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. The police secretly detained the human rights workers while refusing to provide the details of their arbitrary arrest. After several days, the government of Qatar released them. Although the police officers involved still need to be prosecuted for their crimes, the release of Upadhyaya and Gundev deserves applause. Sign the petition below to thank Qatar government officials for releasing the human rights workers.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani,

Investigating the treatment of migrant workers constructing the facilities for FIFA’s 2022 World Cup in Qatar, two British citizens disappeared 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 secretly detained by police. I thank you for having them released, but they should never have been imprisoned in the first place.

Their only crime was attempting to protect the rights of construction workers in your country. The law enforcement officials involved in their abduction must be punished for their actions in order for justice to prevail. However, liberating these human rights activists is a huge step in the right direction. Thank you for allowing these men to return home to their families.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: RajeshUnuppally via Wikimedia Commons

Original petition: Release Missing Human Rights Activists

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