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Friday, June 18, 2021

Amnesty: Detained Qatari activists freed after a month without charge

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Muhammad Issa al-Baker and Mansour bin Rashed al-Matroushi, the two men detained by Qatari authorities in March over a “threatening” letter delivered to the French embassy, have now been released without charge, Amnesty International reports.

The two Qatari citizens were let go on April 18 and told there would be no case brought against them, but were shortly thereafter informed of a travel ban on them, the human rights group said in a statement issued last night.

Both men were reportedly arrested on March 22, 2013 while driving back to Doha from a family trip to Mesaieed, and have told colleagues they were shown no arrest warrants. Authorities, however, have said warrants were issued.

On April 8, the men began a hunger strike, refusing food in protest at their weeks-long detention without legal justification.

A colleague of the two men previously told Doha News that al-Baker and al-Matroushi were arrested for submitting a letter to the French embassy on behalf of a larger group of activists here to protest against France’s intervention in Mali.

Although the group that drafted the letter says they were only offering advice, others have interpreted the letter as constituting a threat to the embassy.

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