The Qatari government later accused journalists Halver Ackland and Lokman Ghorbani of “entering private property and filming without permission”. The two journalists returned to Norway early Wednesday after their arrest.
Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gann Storr called the arrest “unacceptable”. He tweeted, “Free press is important in a democracy. It also shows the importance of awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to journalists this year. I am very happy that Halver Ackland and Lokman Ghorbani have now been released.
Reporting in Qatar in the wake of the World Cup, other journalists have faced similar difficulties.
Journalists said they were not allowed to leave with their equipment. The Norwegian Journalists Association and the country’s football association criticized the arrest of the journalists.
At the same time, the Qatar government said in a statement that the two journalists were arrested after receiving a complaint from an unidentified private property owner in the country’s industrial area. The area is a stronghold of labor camps. She said that Ackland had applied for permission to film but was not approved by the authorities.
AP Gola Naresh