Journalists from the ARD and WDR, two of the biggest public broadcasting networks in Germany, were arrested and detained by the Qatari government while shooting a documentary about the corruption behind FIFA’s decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. According to the WDR’s account, the government erased data from electronic equipment, and didn’t allow the journalists to leave the country for days.
From the WDR (translation via Google):
The WDR team was arrested during a shooting with workers in the Qatari capital Doha, then interrogated by the State Security, the demonstrated prosecutor and only released after 14 hours in the night again.The WDR employees were allowed to Qatar for five days left until the Qatari foreign minister allowed to leave. The camera equipment, laptops and personal mobile phones were confiscated and - contrary to other commitments also to the German Embassy in Qatar - returned only with a four-week delay. All data has been deleted and damaged pieces of equipment.
This morning, ADR journalist Florian Bauer revealed that he was one of the journalists arrested:
The documentary that Bauer and his team were working on, called The Selling of Football - Sepp Blatter and the Power of FIFA, airs on German television tonight. Based on the description of the film—the reporters claim to have gotten their hands on incriminating bank documents—it’s no wonder that Qatari officials were so keen on detaining Florian and his camera crew.