Qatar government releases detained Kenyan Malcolm Bidali

Malcom Bidali
Malcom Bidali.[Photo: Courtesy]

Malcolm Bidali, a Kenyan migrant worker who has been in custody in Qatar is now a free man.

According to Migrant Rights, Bidali has been released but his charges remain active in court.

“Malcolm has been released from custody but the charges against him remain,” a statement read.

The lobby added that he has been in custody and charged without legal representation.

“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.”

He had been charged by the Qatari government regarding payments received by a foreign agent for the creation and distribution of disinformation within the State of Qatar.

A statement by the government said that Bidali’s case was moved to the Public Prosecution office.

Migrant Rights added that the charges against him are a tact to “silence a strong voice drawing attention to the human rights abuses of migrants in the country.”

Bidali worked as a guard with GSS Certis International.

The Kenyan is said to have disappeared on May 4 shortly after making a presentation to civil society groups on the state of migrant workers in Qatar. He used services as a security guard as a case study.

Bidali has for the last three years that he has worked with a coalition of organizations on the rights of migrant workers in Qatar. They include, Fairsquare, Human Rights Watch, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.

He has been blogging about the low wages in Qatar, poor working conditions, and terrible accommodation.

His arrest was reported to the Kenyan Embassy in Qatar.

The Embassy in response said that the Qatari government has not given many details about Bidali’s arrest.

“We were informed that he has been arrested by state security services,” Joel Mwanzia, labour attache at the Kenyan embassy in Doha said.

“Since that notification sometime last week, we have not been briefed on what action has been taken against him or if he has been produced in court.”

On May 19, 240 Qatar Foundation had its 240 members sign a petition and sent it to His Excellency Sheikha Hind Bint Hamad Al Thani.