Authorities in Qatar have confirmed they have arrested two British Indian human rights workers who were investigating the conditions of Nepalese migrant workers in Doha.
Krishna Upadhyaya and Ghimire Gundev, who worked for the Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD), disappeared after complaining of harassment by the police.
A statement by Qatar’s ministry of foreign affairs said the men were being investigated for “violating the law of the land” and that security forces had treated the men in accordance with international law.
British consular officials have visited Upadhyaya and Gundev and checked on their well being, the statement added.
“Krishna Upadhyaya and Ghimire Gundev, who were detained by the security authorities in Qatar on the August 31, are under investigation for violating the law of the land,” the statement said.
“Security services followed all the right procedures with the two men and that they were treated with humanity in detention in accordance to the international human rights law, in compliance with the Constitution and the federal laws in Qatar.”
There is an ongoing communication between the Qatari ministry of foreign affairs and the security services on one end and the British foreign affairs office on another end.”
The men’s families have appealed for their immediate release.
Norway-based GNRD is an six-year-old organization that promotes human rights and development.
It has singled out Qatar in the past over conditions faced by the thousands of migrant workers, mainly of South Asian origin, who work in the country as well as the Gulf region.
The country’s treatment of workers has come under even greater scrutiny in recent times after Qatar won the right to host the 2022 Football World Cup.
Labour rights activists have raised concerns about dangerous working conditions, allegations of unpaid salaries and other abuses.