Monday, June 17, 2024

Qatari official threatens to break reporter’s camera during live World Cup broadcast

A Danish journalist was threatened by Qatari officials as he delivered a live TV report from the Middle Eastern country ahead of the World Cup.

Rasmus Tantholdt was speaking as part of a live report next to a roundabout for broadcaster TV2 when he and his camera crew were approached by officials driving a golf buggy. One of the officials immediately tried to grab the camera, which spun round to reveal two more Qataris getting out of the buggy.

The man grabbing the camera then put his hand over the lens, blocking out any pictures. Tantholdt responded by saying: “We are live on Danish television. Mister, you invited the whole world to come here, why can’t we film, it’s a public place.”

TV2 reporter Rasmus Tantholdt was stopped by officials during filming ( 

The reporter is then seen showing the Qatari officials his accreditation, which says he could film anywhere in the country. The Qatari officials refused to accept that though and insisted they needed permission.

The first official then began grabbing the camera again, with Tantholdt approaching him. He appears to say something to the reporter who responds: “You want to break the camera? Ok you can break the camera. So you are threatening us by smashing the camera?”

The clip has since gone viral, with many condemning the actions of the Qatar officials. The Middle Eastern country has strict, repressive laws on free speech, with zero independent media companies based there.

The Qatari officials refused to accept Tantholdt’s accreditation ( 
Image:  TV2)

The Supreme Committee for the Delivery and Legacy of the World Cup had made assurances that officials would be taking a more relaxed approach to the country’s oppressive laws during the World Cup. This message does not appear to have been passed on, though Tandtholdt has revealed he has received an apology.

“I don’t think the message from the top in Qatar has reached all the security guards. Therefore, one can argue that there are some who have misunderstood the situation,” he told Norwegian outlet NRK.

“But at the same time it tells a lot about what it is like in Qatar. There it is that you can be attacked and threatened when you report as a free media. This is not a free and democratic country.

“My experience after visiting 110 countries in the world is: The more you have to hide, the more difficult it is to report from there.”

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