Danish TV Crew Shut Down And Threatened By Security In Qatar

Danish TV Crew Shut Down And Threatened By Security In Qatar
By Eoin Harrington Updated
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With kickoff for the 2022 World Cup just four days away, concerning footage has emerged of a Danish TV crew on the ground in Qatar being threatened by security forces.

The atmosphere surrounding the tournament is already tense, with 12 years of buildup largely spent interrogating the human rights record and current situation in Qatar.

The latest clip shows a Danish broadcaster live on air when security arrive and threaten to break the crew's camera if they do not cease filming in a public place - despite the presenter showing the correct accreditation.

The new footage draws into doubt the safety of journalists and TV crews in Qatar for the next four weeks.

Qatar: World Cup hosts threaten Danish TV crew for filming

In a new clip shared to Twitter by Danish TV presenter Rasmus Tantholdt, Qatari security can be seen interrupting a broadcast from near a roundabout in central Doha and threatening to break his crew's camera. The reasons for their intervention are unclear, but they appear to arrive before anything has even been said by Tantholdt.

In the clip, Tantholdt shows the security his press accreditation and says that TV crews are permitted to film in public places. He says:

You invited the whole world to come here, why can't we film in a public place?

This is the accreditation - we can film anywhere we want. We don't need a permit.

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The security then attempt to block the camera, and appear to threaten to either break or confiscate it.

It is a shocking clip, and raises concerns about media freedom for the duration of the tournament, at a time when many will be hoping to shine a light on the issues surrounding human rights conditions in Qatar. The nation sits in 129th place on the most recent Press Freedom Index, published in 2020.

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An apology was later shared from the Qatar Supreme Committee for the incident. In a report shared by Football Daily from Qatar, another broadcaster confirmed that this was not an isolated incident, but was certainly the most aggressive seen so far in Doha.

The statement from the Qatar Supreme Committee read:

Upon inspection of the crew's valid tournament accreditation and filming permit, an apology was made to the broadcaster by onsite security, before the crew resumed their activity.

Tournament organisers have since spoken to the journalist, and issued and advisory to all entities to respect the filming permits in place for the tournament.

As teams begin to arrive in Qatar, this latest incident will cast doubt yet again over the suitability of the host nation for this most unusual of World Cups.

With long-lasting concerns over the rights of women and the LGBTQ+ community in the country, as well as reports directly linking construction for the tournament to the deaths of migrant workers, this is already a World Cup being played under a cloud, and this latest incident does not inspire hope that Qatar will be overly hospitable to the visiting media of the world.

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