“I am being followed by the police here. Looks like they will give me troubles now.”1
This is one of the ominous final messages Krishna Upadhyaya sent before he and his colleague Ghimire Gundev disappeared in Qatar four days ago -- they haven’t been heard from since.
Krishna and Ghimire are British campaigners, working in Qatar on behalf of the Norwegian human rights organisation Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD). They had been researching the plight of migrant labourers constructing facilities for Qatar’s 2022 World Cup, conducting interviews with Nepali labourers and investigating the terrible working conditions.
On Sunday they vanished. Krishna was last in touch with a friend who has since said: “He was feeling unsafe to leave the hotel premises and according to him there were many police, most likely undercover ones, coming in very close to him every time he spoke to anyone on the phone. He expressed that he felt very insecure about what might happen when he left the hotel for the airport.”2
Krishna checked out of his hotel but did not board a planned flight back to Norway. Both are now feared to be detained by the Qatari security forces. Their whereabouts remain undisclosed by Qatari authorities despite repeated efforts by their families, and GNRD to obtain their location.3 In short -- it’s feared that they may have been subjected to enforced disappearance.
Take action now: call for the immediate safe return of Krishna Upadhyaya and Ghimire Gundev.
Krishna and Ghimire were working hard to keep the world’s attention on migrant workers trapped in conditions of modern slavery in Qatar. We cannot allow their mistreatment to continue. As fellow anti-slavery activists, we must take a stand and add to mounting pressure on the Qatari authorities to ensure Krishna and Ghimire are found.
Please join us in calling on the Qatari authorities to act by:
- Immediately investigating the whereabouts of Krishna and Ghimire and ensuring that they are allowed immediate access to their family members, a lawyer of their choice and to any medical treatment they may require.
- Ensuring that they are protected from all forms of torture or other ill-treatment.
- Recognising that labour standards apply to all migrant workers, including the workers on Qatar 2022 World Cup infrastructure projects.
Jayde, Joanna, Fleur, Olly and the whole Walk Free team