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Danish TV presenter ‘detained by Qatari Police for filming Iranians under attack from pro-government mob’

The Independent logo The Independent 30/11/2022 Stuti Mishra
Screenshot (76).png © Twitter/Rasmus Tantholdt Screenshot (76).png

A Danish reporter covering the World Cup in Qatar said he was detained by police after filming Iranians allegedly being attacked by supporters of the country’s regime.

Rasmus Tantholdt, of Danish network TV2, was attending Iran’s final group game against the US on Tuesday when he filmed Iranian fans clashing over the ongoing women’s rights protests in the country at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha.

Some football fans who showed up in T-shirts with “Women, Life, Freedom” written on them as a message for support for the ongoing protests, were allegedly beaten up by a group of men after Iran lost the game, bringing an end to their tournament.

Mr Tantholdt, who recorded videos of the incident, tweeted late at night on Tuesday: “So now I’m detained by Qatari Police for filming Iranians who were attacked by pro-government Iranians.”

He later tweeted again, saying he was released after being asked to “delete my pictures which I refused”.

One of the videos shared by him on social media showed two people in T-shirts supporting the mass protests, who alleged they were attacked and left with injuries. The two could be heard demanding safe passage outside the venue as security officials tried to intervene.

“They attacked us!” one person in the video can be heard saying.

Other videos showed men holding Iranian flags being stopped by the police, with one showing a family with two children also caught in the middle of the skirmish.

The journalist, however, has not shared any further information about his alleged detention. The incident comes amid rising concerns over media curbs during the ongoing World Cup in the Guld country.

In an earlier incident, the Danish journalist was also interrupted by security staff who threatened to break his camera.

The mass unrest in Iran occurred after the death of 22-year-old woman Mahsa Amini earlier this year. Amini was arrested for wearing her hijab too loosely, according to the Iran government, and was detained for “inappropriate attire”.

She later died in police custody under suspicious circumstances.

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