Qatar frees Britons arrested while probing World Cup labour

 Qatari authorities have freed two British researchers held in Doha as they were probing the labour conditions of migrants building facilities for the 2022 World Cup, an embassy spokesperson said Tuesday.

AFP| Updated: Sep 09, 2014, 18:34 PM IST
Qatar frees Britons arrested while probing World Cup labour

Doha: Qatari authorities have freed two British researchers held in Doha as they were probing the labour conditions of migrants building facilities for the 2022 World Cup, an embassy spokesperson said Tuesday.

Krishna Upadhyaya and Ghimire Gundev, who work for the Norway-based Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD), were arrested in Doha on August 31.

A British embassy spokesperson told AFP that "we can confirm that the two British nationals have been released," without giving details. 

The Qatari foreign ministry had said the pair were "being interrogated for having violated provisions of the law" in Qatar.

It was unclear when and on what basis they where finally freed.

The pair had been carrying out follow-up research on the working conditions of migrant labourers after Qatari authorities promised a raft of reforms to address an international outcry over working conditions as the emirate prepares to host football`s premier tournament.

Amnesty described their disappearance as "extremely worrying" and said it believed they had been detained because of their work.

Earlier this year Qatar gave undertakings to improve workplace safety, housing and pay and conditions for its expatriate workforce after world football governing body FIFA came under huge pressure from rights groups to review its decision to award the emirate the 2022 World Cup.