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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Nepalese teacher accused of insulting Islam released from Qatar jail



A former Qatar Academy chemistry teacher held on charges of insulting Islam has just been released from jail, his friends have told Doha News. 

UPDATE | 8:48pm

Gurung is expected to leave Qatar soon, according to his colleagues, who said they won’t breathe sighs of relief until that happens.

The teacher has apparently been given assurances that the charges against him will be dropped. Selywn Price, a longtime friend of Gurung’s who spoke with him on the phone this evening, told Doha News:

He was very grateful for, and overwhelmed by, the level of support he had received from his friends, family, and colleagues from around the world, and by complete strangers who had supported him on the testimony of those who do know him.

Gurung, who was fired from QA last month over remarks he made to students, was set to fly out to his native country of Nepal shortly thereafter. But those plans were derailed after he was picked up on May 1 and held at the Al Rayyan police station for 10 days.

According to Gurung’s colleagues, the teacher had been responding to harassment from the students and jokes about his nationality by asking something to the effect of, how would you like to be stereotyped, i.e. called a terrorist?

International attention

In the five days since his arrest became public, an international campaign launched by friends, colleagues, students and others has been organized to urge his release. And an online petition condemning his arrest that was started on Friday has already garnered more than 12,500 responses.

When reached for comment, an official at the Nepalese embassy in Qatar said they still had not been able to talk to Gurung.


Credit: Screenshot from Free Dorje’s Tumblr page

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