Mark Lobel, the journalist based in Dubai, UAE, had been invited to Qatar to showcase the country's migrant workers' state. He was a member of the international press.
Lobel and his team were were on their way to film some Nepali workers on May 2 when they were surrounded by eight cars and taken to the sides. A dozen security officers allegedly frisked them and shouted at them before taking their equipment and taking them to the headquarters.
The journalist had a translator, driver and cameraman with him. They were questioned separately by an intelligence officer and the episode was not peaceful, it was said. Lobel was also shown pictures of his movements, which clarified that he was being followed.
Here we go. Qatar's government issues a statement attacking us (no word on whereabouts of our equipment). Our response to that v soon online
Here we go. Qatar's government issues a statement attacking us (no word on whereabouts of our equipment). Our response to that v soon online— Mark Lobel (@marklobel) May 18, 2015
Lobel and his team members were not accused of anything but were repeatedly asked about their actions and who did they meet during their visit. The ordeal continued for 13 hours, it was said.
The journalists were also threatened with four-day prison but were released on May 4.
The ban on them against leaving Qatar was lifted six days later but their equipment were not returned, it was alleged.