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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Australians detained in Qatar ‘moved to deportation centre’


No information as of yet has been provided to confirm which country the detainees will be deported to.

The family of a Qatar University professor and his son who have been detained in Doha for five months without charges say the two have been moved to a deportation centre, according to a press release by London-based advocacy organisation CAGE.

Professor Lukman Thalib’s daughter said they’d received a phone call from the 58-year-old, who complained of a slow heart-rate and low blood pressure, triggering fears over his health. 

The detained academic was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) in 2005. Although he entered into remission, he is required to maintain checkups every three months due to his high risk of relapsing.

Shortly after Dr. Thalib’s call, the family received another phone call from one of the prisoners who was being held with the professor, in which he informed them that they had been “removed from the detention facility they were being held at and were escorted onto a bus.”

On July 27th, Thalib and his 24-year-old son Ismail, were suddenly arrested from their home in Doha by security forces, according to CAGE, which campaigns against unlawful imprisonments in terrorism related cases, among which include the case of Al Jazeera cameraman Sami Al-Haj and Qatari doctor Mahmoud Al-Jaidah who was previously unlawfully detained in the UAE.

Read more: Australian university professor and son detained in Qatar for five months without charge

Qatar has not charged Thalib or his son, who trace their family roots to Srilanka, with any crime. However it is believed their detention has come at the request of US intelligence officials acting on information provided by Sri Lankan authorities. 

The detention of the Australian nationals came three months before the US Treasury Department issued a statement alleging that Thalib’s other son, who lives in Melbourne  – Ahmed Luqman Thalib – had been providing “financial or material support” to Al-Qa’idat through his gemstone company which is based in the Australian capital.

Ahmed’s home was raided by Australian police, however he remains a free man, and has not been charged with any crime by Melbourne authorities. 

Wednesday’s statement from the CAGE also alleged that both detainees have been mistreated while in detention.

Doha News has contacted the Government’s Communications Office for a comment but has yet to receive a response.  

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