The Times reported on Thursday that a British travel industry expert who was found hanged in Doha in 2019 told friends that he had been arrested and tortured by Qatari secret police 10 weeks before he died.
Qatar Airways had hired Marc Bennett, 52, to work on increasing tourism to the Gulf nation ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Blindfolded and handcuffed, he was taken into custody at the company’s Doha headquarters and told friends that he had been stripped, hosed, assaulted, and deprived of sleep for three weeks.
His family claims that he was placed in “legal limbo” following his release because they were unsure whether he would be re-arrested and were prevented from leaving the country. (Brit who promoted Qatar)
His arrest came after he quit Qatar Airways and got a job offer from a Saudi travel company, which a former coworker said was taken as a “massive insult” by employees.
According to Qatar Airways, it was discovered that Bennett had sent “highly confidential documents” to a private email address, which was reported to police. Bennett worked closely with the airline’s CEO, Akbar Al-Baker.
Bennett was let go on November 2, 2019, the day before a UN legal team was to go to Qatar to look at the condition of the country’s detention facilities in relation to allegations of human rights violations.
The facility where he was held denied access to the UN team working on arbitrary detention.
Bennett was abandoned at a hotel in Doha without any documents regarding his arrest or any possible legal proceedings.
The death of Bennett was ruled a suicide by a coroner in Qatar, but a British coroner found “no specific evidence of suicidal intent” and “the circumstances of the months leading up to his death remain unclear.” (Brit who promoted Qatar)
Bennett did not leave a suicide note and did not indicate that he intended to kill himself, despite the fact that he was well-liked by a large number of his friends and family.
During a video call with his family in the UK the night before his death, he was described as “laughing and joking.”
According to Nancy Bennett, his 51-year-old widow, there are numerous inquiries with the whole world in front of him, he left here.
There are “credible allegations” that the unit that detained Bennett engages in extra-judicial arrests and mistreatment of prisoners, according to the UN legal team investigating human rights violations in Qatar.
It stated that “the working group was prevented from doing so when it decided to visit one of the state security detention facilities, in relation to which it had received credible allegations of prolonged detention without judicial control and of ill-treatment.”
Additionally, “when the working group visited some other places of detention, it found these facilities to be almost empty and received credible reports that detainees had been transferred to other facilities prior to its arrival.” (Brit who promoted Qatar
A week after Liz Truss became foreign secretary in September 2021, an investigation into Bennett’s treatment and death by the UK Foreign Office was closed despite the findings of the coroner and the family’s concerns.
In October of that year, Truss, who is now prime minister of the United Kingdom, went to Qatar for “strategic dialogue” and to promote “deeper co-operation on security, development, trade, and investment.”
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Qatari emir, announced a £10 billion ($10.845 billion) investment package for the UK in May 2020.
In the lead-up to the World Cup, Qatar has been the target of numerous allegations of mistreatment of foreign workers.
According to the Mail on Sunday, out of the roughly 30,000 people who were hired to build the tournament’s infrastructure, 2,823 foreign workers have died in Qatar in 2011 for no apparent reason, and another 551 have taken their own lives.
The news was informed by a British businessman: If your employer turns against you, you will be treated like dirt, whether you are a wealthy British man or a Pakistani laborer.
You feel as though you are a slave. Even going out of the country for a weekend requires permission from your employer.
The Times was informed by a spokesperson for the Foreign Office: After a British man passed away in Doha, we assisted his family.