Local human rights activists Muhammad Issa al-Baker and Mansour bin Rashed al-Matroushi have been held “incommunicado” by Qatari authorities since Friday, according to Amnesty International.
The international non-profit issued an urgent action email to members last night, asking participants to pressure officials to disclose the reasons for the two arrests and calling for their immediate release.
According to Amnesty, al-Baker and al-Matroushi were stopped by plain-clothes security forces when driving back from a family trip to Mesaieed.
Amnesty’s email says:
They were taken to Doha’s central police headquarters and have since been denied access to lawyers and family. Reports from within the detention centre indicate that both are being held in solitary confinement.
The police have acknowledged to the men’s lawyers that they are detaining them, but have not provided reasons for doing so. They say they did not make the arrests, raising the question of whether the intelligence agency State Security, whose officers often operate in plain clothes, did so. The office of the General Prosecutor told the lawyers it had no information about the arrests.
The non-government organization goes on to say that the two had recently signed a letter of protest with 148 other, which was sent to the French embassy in Qatar about that country’s intervention in Mali and had also sought permission to organize a demonstration on the issue.
When contacted by Doha News, the French embassy’s senior legal advisor said he had no knowledge of the matter.
Meanwhile, Doha is buzzing with security forces this weeks as leaders from across the region arrive for the Arab League Summit being held today and tomorrow.
Credit: Photo of prison cell by IndyDina and used for illustrative purposes