Irish journalist hassled by Qatar police while filming for World Cup

An Irish journalist has said he was stopped by police in Qatar while filming coverage ahead of the 2022 World Cup.

Earlier this week, Qatari officials apologised after footage of a Danish camera crew being “mistakenly interrupted” on a live broadcast went viral.

And in the latest incident of that nature, Irish journalist Tony O’Donoghue told RTE how he was stopped by police while filming a piece to camera on Thursday (17 November).

During RTE’s coverage of the Republic of Ireland’s friendly fixture with Norway – a game Ireland lost 2-1 – O’Donoghue explained the moment to the broadcaster.

He did, however, say he believes that the incident had stemmed from poor communication between tournament organisers and security officials – rather than the episode serving as evidence of an ‘oppressive regime’.

On Tuesday (15 November), a group confronted Danish network TV2 while they were producing a piece to camera and ordered them to stop filming.

Tournament organisers later released a statement, which read: “Upon inspection of the crew’s valid tournament accreditation and filming permit, an apology was made to the broadcaster by on-site security before the crew resumed their activity.”

Qatar has come under fierce criticism in the lead-up to this first ever winter World Cup, with reports suggesting that thousands of migrant workers have died amid the state’s preparation for the tournament.

Those reports do not represent the only human-rights abuses that Qatar has been accused of, with the state also coming under fire for its laws and attitudes concerning LGBTQ rights.