Qatari officials have been filmed yet again stopping a live TV broadcast by a fully accredited foreign crew on a street in Doha.
Argentine TV host Joaquín ‘El Pollo’ Alvarez was interviewing an elderly fan in a wheelchair for when an official walked into view and ordered the presenter to show his press pass.
Mr Alvarez replies ‘yes, of course’ before telling a colleague to fish out his paperwork from a bag.
The official could be seen becoming irate when the Argentine presenter attempted to point a microphone towards him while he spoke, batting it away and ordering the cameraman to stop filming.
A lengthy discussion unfolded in which the Argentine crew attempted to reassure the official via translators.
But he refused to let them carry on the segment and ordered them to leave, telling them the area is ‘private’.
The scuffle took place in Barwa Village, a residential complex on the outskirts of the Qatari capital that was developed specially for the World Cup.
Mr Alvarez, who claimed the official had threatened to take the crew’s TV equipment and detain him, said: ‘I was frightened and thought they were going to take me prisoner.
The TV crew unsuccessfully tried to negotiate with the man after showing their paperwork
‘We had a bad experience and what happened was totally unfair because we had all our permits and everything in order.
The show’s co-presenter Nicolas Magali said from their studio in Buenos Aires: ‘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.’
Mr Alvarez’ wife later joked her husband had ‘s**t himself’ in reaction to the prospect of ending up in jail, adding: ‘It’s impossible to work and enjoy a World Cup like this.’
A Danish TV report was interrupted live on air last week by guards who manhandled the crew
Global broadcasters have criticised Qatari authorities over a number of incidents involving heavy-handed guards
The Argentine broadcasters say the official, who had been patrolling in a van, refused to identify himself and that they still have no idea whether he was employed by the government or a private security firm.
Qatar claims to have trained more than 50,000 people to provide security for an expected influx of 1.2 million visitors from across the globe.
The Qatari government insisted as recently as last week that all staff had been reminded to ‘respect the filming permits in place for the tournament’.
The pledge was made after a Danish TV crew was manhandled by a group of Qatari men who threatened to smash their equipment.
Reporter Rasmus Tantholdt was speaking during a live broadcast in a street in the Katara area when the men arrived on a golf buggy and instantly stopped the …read more