Stop Reported Extortion of Detainees’ Families

Target: Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdul Aziz Al Thani, Prime Minister of Qatar

Goal: Do not abuse Interpol system to detain foreigners and extort families for money.

Qatar will host this year’s World Cup for soccer/football. During the championship, the country will welcome over a million fans and visitors from around the world. Some security experts, however, worry that the door may be slammed shut and locked on some unlucky visitors.

The concerns arise from Qatar’s reported abuse of Interpol’s red alert system. This configuration is designed so that nations can track down and extradite serious criminals who may be in another country. While the system was designed to aid in the capture of dangerous menaces to society, Qatar has apparently routinely exploited it to retrieve individuals for more minor offenses. For example, a British engineer was reportedly extradited via the system for missing a few payments on a bank loan.

These individuals are often detained and even imprisoned for prolonged periods of time. Qatar officials have been accused of using the detainees to extort money out of frantic relatives and friends. Some families have reported paying out funds that far exceed any money that may have been owed.

Sign the petition below to demand this nation that calls itself an ally stop using human beings as bargaining chips.


Dear Sheikh Khalid,

Qatar likely wants to present a positive image to the world while hosting the World Cup. Its troubling history with extradition threatens to taint this image, however. Officials within the country face allegations that they have misused Interpol’s red alert system in order to secure detainees who can be exchanged for financial gain.

The alleged minor infractions of some of the detainees is troubling, as are charges that family members have been forced to make enormous payoffs to secure their loved one’s release. If these allegations are true, the actions are no better than nations that use wrongfully detained foreigners for political leverage. Please address and correct these urgent issues before Qatar gains a reputation not as a trusted ally but a deceptive and greedy foe.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Kindel Media

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