Tveir blaðamenn á vegum norska ríkissjónvarpsins voru á dögunum handteknir og haldið í rúmar 30 klukkustundir grunaðir um að hafa stigið fæti inn á einkalóð. Engar kærur voru lagðar fram en eftir standa margar spurningar.

Knattspyrnusamböndin segja þessa þróun vera óásættanlega. ,,Knattspyrnusambönd Norðurlandanna hafa síðastliðin ár unnið markvisslega að því að veita aðhald og reynt að sjá til þess að virðing verði borin fyrir mannréttindum í aðdraganda Heimsmeistaramótsins í Katar."

Knattspyrnusamböndin greina frá því að síðastliðið vor hafi yfirlýsingar verið sendar til FIFA þar sem lýst var yfir þungum áhyggjum af stöðu mannréttinda farandverkamanna og fjölmiðlafrelsis í Katar. ,,Í ykkar svari við yfirlýsingum okkar sögðu þið að framfylgd fjölmiðlafrelsis væri meginmarkmið skipuleggjenda heimsmeistaramótsins."

Knattspyrnusambönd Norðurlandanna segja þessi loforð FIFA vera innantóm í ljósi nýjustu vendinga í landinu.

Bréf knattspyrnusambanda Norðurlandanna til FIFA í heild sinni:

Dear Madam Secretary General, dear Fatma

As committed we are to protect the basic and universal human rights, including freedom of speech, as appalled are we by the news from Qatar that two Norwegian journalists of the Norwegian public media corporation NRK have been detained for presumably more than 30 hours under allegations of trespassing into a private property. No formal charges were raised, yet many questions remain unanswered.

It goes without saying that this development is unacceptable. You know that the Nordic FAs over several years have worked tirelessly to ensure the respect of and adherence to the universal human rights under the preparation for and conduction of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar.

This spring, through a couple of formal letters to you, the Nordic FAs raised our voices on the recent developments in Qatar in terms of human rights for migrant workers but also for our concern of for example press freedom in Qatar.

In your reply letters, you stressed that adherence to press freedom is key for the World Cup organisers.

In your letter of 7 May 2021 to the Danish, Norwegian and Swedish FA, you wrote: “More specifically, the concrete actions currently being delivered as part of the key priorities of the strategy [the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar Sustainability Strategy] are: (…)

• engagement with Qatari authorities on the revision of the press freedom legislation, including through the newly established Memorandum of Understanding with the Qatari National Human Rights Committee, and the finalisation of tournament-specific mediarelated policies and procedures;”

Moreover, in your letter of 19 June 2021 to the six Nordic FAs, you pointed out press freedom as a focal point: “As highlighted by several of the unions and NGOs in the call on 10 May, Qatar is not restricting their access to the country and is seen as a positive example in the region in that respect.

Should you be aware of international NGO or media representatives who have not been able to enter the country and conduct their work in relation to the FIFA World Cup 2022 freely, we would like to ask you to encourage these persons to share such information through the FIFA complaints mechanism for human rights defenders and media representatives.

Any such complaint will be handled in line with FIFA’s policy on the protection of human rights defenders and journalists.”

Finally, Objective S4 of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Sustainability Strategy states the following target of the World Cup: “Respect and help protect the rights of media representatives and human rights advocates in relation to the FIFA World Cup 2022 “ The abovementioned promises of press freedom sound hollow if the reality is detainment of journalists in Qatar. That is why we fully support our Norwegian friends and colleagues, and we trust that you and FIFA will do your outmost to live up to the promises of respect for our universal human rights.