‘This is what Qatar is like!’: World Cup officials interrupt ANOTHER live broadcast, threaten to confiscate equipment and order TV crew to leave as they interview a fan in a wheelchair
- Officials interrupt live broadcast as reporter chats with fan, forcing crew to leave
- ‘It’s censorship when you know you’re doing nothing wrong,’ reporter’s wife says
- Incident latest in string of Qatari officials appearing to censor journalists’ work
This is the moment heavy-handed Qatari officials interrupt a live TV broadcast after telling an Argentinian journalist to stop filming as he interviews a football fan in a wheelchair.
A tall man in Arabic robes and headdress appeared out of nowhere and ordered Joaquin Alvarez to show him his press pass before instructing the cameraman to point his lens away towards a block of flats in the background.
Colleagues from the studio back in Buenos Aires said: ‘This is what the Qatar government is like’ as they expressed their concern at what was happening.
Heavy-handed Qatari officials arrive to interrupt a live TV broadcast after telling an Argentinian journalist to stop filming as he interviews a football fan in a wheelchair
The TV reporter tries to reason with the unnamed officials after they interrupt his live broadcast
A Qatari official holds up his hand toward a reporter’s camera after interrupting a live broadcast on Argentinian TV
The broadcast is forced to end after the officials insist the Argentinian reporter and his crew can’t film anymore
The shock incident, which occurred after a Danish film crew were threatened by security staff on air as they broadcast in the capital Doha ahead of the World Cup, took place during a live report for a popular show on Argentina’s El Trece channel called Nosotros a la Mañana.
Alvarez, who normally hosts the programme, was joking with Argentine fans about their favourite TV channel and the show they like the best when he was interrupted by the unidentified official and two other men who appeared seconds later.
He was forced to stop and show he was working seconds after a wheelchair-bound supporter he was fooling around with admitted he was ‘sad’ about the South American nation’s shock defeat to Saudi Arabia in their first match of the tournament.
The interruption to the live broadcast took place in Barwa Village, a commercial and residential complex on the outskirts of Doha that was completed in 2010 and has been expanded for the World Cup.
The journalist and film crew resumed filming later from the back of a car, with Alvarez telling viewers he had been forced to leave the area after being told where he was working was ‘private.’
Insisting his paperwork was in order and he had all the necessary permits, he said: ‘I was frightened and thought they were going to take me prisoner.
‘The person who stopped the filming got out of a van and told us in a very rude way we couldn’t film any more because we were in a private place.
‘I told him we were showing something nice but they told us we had to go and there was a moment when they even wanted to take our equipment off us.’
A Qatari official appears to order an Argentinian TV crew to stop broadcasting as they interview a fan in a wheelchair
The crew’s camera focuses on an empty street during the live broadcast, seemingly after being ordered to stop filming
He went on to thank well-wishers for their support in a social media post, raging: ‘We had a bad experience and what happened was totally unfair because we had all our permits and everything in order.
‘It’s in the past now, another anecdote. The most important thing for me is that Argentina is playing again on Saturday.’
Nicolas Magali, who is replacing Alvarez as programme host while his colleague covers the World Cup, responded by saying: ‘This is an example of severe censorship and we have to say so.
‘They covered up the camera, didn’t let us film, ordered you away in a rude fashion and on top of that the person doing the talking didn’t identify himself.’
The journalist’s wife Tefi Russo later took to social media to say of her husband: ‘No joke, he sh*t himself simply because although he had all his paperwork in order, he’s away from home, he was doing a live broadcast, he doesn’t speak the language, it’s another culture and it’s censorship when you know you’re doing nothing wrong.
‘It’s impossible to work and enjoy a World Cup like this.’
Qatari officials ended up apologising after a similar incident less than a fortnight ago involving the Danish film crew.
Danish reporter Rasmus Tantholdt was interrupted while presenting live on TV out in Qatar
Security officials took issue with him filming and soon threatening to destroy his camera
A security guard tries to explain that he is unable to film, despite his accreditation pass
TV2 reporter Rasmus Tantholdt was speaking as part of a live broadcast when he was approached by security staff who had appeared on a golf buggy next to the newly-opened Chedi Hotel at Katara Cultural Village.
They told him that he was not welcome to film, and threatened to smash and destroy his camera.
Tantholdt replied: ‘You have invited the whole world here. Why can’t we film? It is a public place.’
He then added: ‘You can break the camera. You want to break it? Go ahead. You’re threatening us by breaking the camera.’
Earlier in the month, an American journalist claimed he was told by security to delete a photo he’d taken of a slogan on a wall in the World Cup media centre in Qatar, as it was ‘not allowed’.
And on November 21, a female Argentinian television reporter was robbed live on air while reporting in Qatar on the World Cup, with a wallet and documents stolen from her handbag.
Metzger (left) said she was dancing with locals while she was on-air, and only realised after that items had been taken from her satchel bag
The report showed footage from when the reporter was dancing in the crowd, and captured the faces of some people close to Metzger. She said Qatari officials would be able to identify the suspect using facial recognition technology
TN journalist Dominique Metzger was broadcasting from the Corniche area of Doha in the build up to the first match of the tournament when she says the items were stolen.
Bizarrely, the reporter claimed police asked her afterwards what kind of punishment she wanted the alleged pickpocket to have if they were caught, allegedly asking: ‘Do you want us to sentence him to five years in prison, to be deported?’
‘I told them I just want my wallet back. I won’t be making the decision for the justice system,’ she told TN.
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