UAE: Swiss journalists detained in Abu Dhabi for filming migrant workers

Author: Naomi Rea, Artnet News (USA), Published on: 22 November 2017

"Swiss Journalists Covering Louvre Opening Detained and Interrogated in Abu Dhabi", 13 November

Two Swiss journalists who were in the United Arab Emirates to cover the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi were detained and interrogated for two days after they were spotted filming migrant workers at an open-air market on the outskirts of the city...Serge Enderlin and cameraman Jon Bjorgvinsson were accredited journalists...They were arrested on Thursday, November 9...According to the journalists’ account, they were interrogated for 50 hours after police spotted them filming Pakistani workers at the market in Mussafah, an industrial town to the southwest of Abu Dhabi that is home to tens of thousands of migrant workers...The Louvre Abu Dhabi, along with other museum projects in the region, have come under fire in the past for the treatment of migrant workers, who make up 90 percent of the private workforce in the UAE...these workers were subject to unsafe working conditions and low wages...[T]hey were subjected to ten-hour interrogation sessions and a relentless campaign of intimidation...They also questioned them about their collaboration with nonprofits and demanded access to their digital devices...Government officials have not yet commented on the journalists’ detention.

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