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14 Nov 2022

Rayhan Uddin, Middle East Eye,

Qatar World Cup whistleblower being ‘silenced’ during tournament, family says

Shutterstock (purchased)

The family of an imprisoned World Cup organising committee whistleblower has accused Qatari authorities of attempting to “silence” him from talking about migrant worker conditions during the tournament...

Abdullah Ibhais, the former deputy communications director at the 2022 Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), was arrested in November 2019 and sentenced to jail last April over allegations of bribery and misuse of funds...

His family released a statement on Monday condemning Qatar’s judicial system, revealing that his most recent appeal had been rejected during a “surprise” hearing last week. 

Qatar’s Court of Cassation met on 7 November to rule on an appeal filed in February, without giving Ibhais or his representatives  “written and verbal notification of any kind”, according to the family...

In a statement to Middle East Eye on Monday, a spokesperson for the Supreme Committee said that Ibhais was convicted after allegations that a number of former employees, including him, did not conduct the tender the awarding of a social media management contract "in accordance with law"...

The spokesperson did not specifically answer MEE's questions on the family's allegations about Qatar's judicial system and prison authorities. Fifa did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.