Just prior to the beginning of the FIFA World Cup, Qatar is already embroiled in a number of contentious issues, some of which include labor rights during the construction of FIFA infrastructure; LGBT rights of fans; limited accommodation options; and even more controversial topics that are cropping up on a daily basis. Another issue that has been brought up is the extradition of a British engineer, which does not reflect well on Qatar’s reputation as a welcoming country. Already, supporters are becoming concerned as a result of the oppressive regulations and policies that are in place in Qatar. People are more concerned about their safety in Qatar than they are about really enjoying themselves at the games.
The extradition of British engineer to Qatar
According to a story from the Guardian, the British engineer Brian Glendinning, who is now being imprisoned in Iraq, is now facing the possibility of extradition to Qatar for failing to repay a bank debt.
Since his detention at the Baghdad airport on September 12 in response to a “red notice” issued by Interpol, Glendinning has been detained in a police cell, where he waits for an extradition hearing to take place.
Upon his arrest, the 43-year-old father of three was informed that an Interpol notice had been issued by Qatar over apparent missed payments. According to his family, the apparent missed payments involved a £20,000 ($22,124) loan that had been taken out in 2018 while the man was working in the Gulf state.
Kimberly Glendinning, Glendinning’s wife, told the Guardian that her husband had struggled to repay his debt after getting unwell around Christmas and losing his job in Scotland. Glendinning had been working in Scotland. In spite of this, she is certain that he continued to keep up with his monthly payments to the Qatar National Bank, with whom he maintained consistent communication.
According to the Guardian, the government of Qatar has not yet submitted a request for the individual’s extradition. The usual requirement that an extradition request must be lodged within 45 days after an arrest is not strictly enforced in Iraq, however. In this particular scenario, there is a possibility that Glendinning will be held in custody for a considerable amount of time in Baghdad.
Qatar is accused of exploiting the Interpol system, which was brought up by Radha Stirling, the creator of IPEX, a non-governmental organisation that works to improve Interpol and its extradition procedure. She said that family members of victims were often coerced into paying out amounts that were in excess of what was due in order to prevent their loved ones from spending extended periods of time in prison.
“In order to prevent the extradition of Brian, we are going to exhaust all of our diplomatic and legal options. “Qatar is creating a problem for itself, which is costing the government a significant amount of money,” Stirling added.
“Many times, we’ve assisted British nationals who were imprisoned in Spain (on an Interpol alert issued by Qatar), as well as in the Czech Republic, Italy, Denmark, and Ukraine, among other countries. The time spent by the police and the court is expensive, and the victim may be held in an unjust manner throughout the trial, ” noted Stirling.
Sterling issued a warning to visiting football fans as Qatar prepares to accommodate 1.2 million visitors for the World Cup beginning on November 20. He said that small transgressions might be used as a justification by the Qatar government against visitors after the championships are completed.
“It’s a problem with human rights, and it brings to light Qatar’s close cooperation with Interpol. “With the World Cup coming up, Qatar need to be aware of the rights assaults that are being directed on foreigners,” Sterling added.