Qatar Authorities Release Kenyan Security Guard Malcolm Bidali after Three Weeks in Confinement
Kenyan security guard jailed in Qatar has been released, a human rights group has said.
Malcolm Bidali, Migrant Rights has said, was released on Wednesday but charges against him remain.
In a statement, the human rights group said, “Malcolm has been released from custody but the charges against him remain.”
“Until his release earlier this week, he had received no legal counsel. The charges against him aim only to silence a strong voice drawing attention to the human rights abuses of migrants in the country.”
Last week, the 28-year-old GSS Certi International employee was “formally charged with offences related to payments received by a foreign agent for the creation and distribution of disinformation within the State of Qatar”.
Blogging under a pseudonym, Noah, Bidali highlighted issues around poor working conditions, long working hours, unsuitable accommodation, among other issues.
The young security guard gave an account of working conditions for immigrants like himself to civil society groups. He was arrested a few days later.
Speaking to Al Jazeera, a Migrant-Rights.Org spokesperson said Bidali who moved to Qatar in 2016, had been blogging for them for at least a year before his arrest.
“He was keen to help other workers in distress, especially during the pandemic,” said the human rights spokesperson.
On Friday, rights groups, including Amnesty International, said that the accused spoke to his mother on May 20 complaining that he was being held in solitary confinement and had no access to a lawyer.
But Qatar’s official National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) said Bidali “was being treated properly”.
The NHRC added staff from the Kenyan embassy visited him and he had contact with his family and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).