Malcolm Bidali, a Kenyan security guard who recorded the lives of migrant workers on his blog, was arrested on May 5.
A Kenyan national working in Qatar was arrested in the capital Doha earlier this month. He was accused of accepting payments to spread false information in the country.
28-year-old Malcolm Bidali (Malcolm Bidali) was a security guard. Arrested from his residence The Qatar Government Communications Office (GCO) stated earlier this month that on May 5, it was “under investigation for violations of Qatar’s security laws and regulations”.
On Saturday, GCO confirmed that Bidali was “formally charged with crimes related to payments received by foreign agents for the production and dissemination of false information in Qatar.”
The statement added: “After a thorough investigation by the authorities, Mr. Malcolm Bidali’s case has been transferred to the Qatar Prosecutor’s Office.” “Mr. Badali is receiving legal advice and representation before the court session. It has not yet been determined.”
Under the pseudonym Noah, Bidali wrote articles on labor rights issues, including long working hours, wage issues, working conditions, and inappropriate housing and workplace conditions.
Just a few days before his arrest, Bidali, who moved to Qatar in 2016, introduced the situation of Qatari migrant workers to civil society groups on the Internet and described his experience as a security guard there.
He is also the target of phishing attacks.according to @amnestyAccording to the analysis, a link on Twitter points to a suspicious URL that can record the IP address and other data of the person who clicked on it. This may be used to identify or locate him. #WhereIsMalcolm
-Immigration Rights (@MigrantRights) May 28, 2021
Qatar’s official National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) stated that the authorities allowed unrestricted access to Bidali and that “he was treated appropriately”.
The National Human Rights Commission added that staff from the Kenyan Embassy visited him and he has contact with his family and the International Labor Organization (ILO).
ILO officials rejected Al Jazeera’s request for comment, but added that “a statement is about to be issued.”
Kenya’s ambassador to Qatar, Padi Ahenda, told Al Jazeera that he could not comment on the allegations, but added that he would meet with Bidali soon.
Human rights organizations expressed concern that his detention may be retaliation for human rights work.
A spokesperson for Migrant-Rights.Org told Al Jazeera that the organization established contact with Bidali last year and “he is keen to help other troubled workers, especially during the pandemic.” .
On Friday, human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, said in a statement that Bidali told his mother in a phone call on May 20 that he was in solitary confinement and could not contact a lawyer.
He just wanted to express his dissatisfaction, expand the experience of other migrants, and even cooperate with the government and relevant stakeholders to support Qatar’s commitment to protecting the rights of migrant workers.
-Immigration Rights (@MigrantRights) May 29, 2021
Migrant-Rights.Org stated in a Twitter post on Saturday that Bidali “only wants to hear his dissatisfaction, expand the experience of other immigrants, and even work with the government and relevant stakeholders to support Qatar’s commitment to protect immigrants. Workers. right”.
“It is important to emphasize that @Noaharticulates blog posts and initiatives cannot be regarded as’false information’. His publicity content is always nuanced and multi-layered, and its sole purpose is to improve the situation in Qatar, not to discredit the country. “It added.
Since obtaining the right to host the 2022 Football World Cup, Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers and its human rights record has been a concern.
However, before the big events to be held in November and December next year, the country has already carried out several labor reforms.
In August 2020, Qatar announced Landmark change Labor law, including removing the need for a no-objection certificate. Earlier this year, a new minimum wage law was also introduced.
The Ministry of Labor of Qatar insists that workers’ complaints are welcome.