Whistleblower Abdullah Ibhais (this archive photo shows him in conversation with the ARD sports show)
WDR / sportschau.de
Air conditioning as a torture device, physical attacks and isolation in complete darkness - these are serious allegations made by the family of whistleblower Abdullah Ibhais.
Shortly before the start of the tournament, the "prisoner of the 2022 World Cup", as the relatives call him, was said to have been tortured in a Qatari prison.
Fifa and the controversial hosts are under criticism.
The former communications chief of the World Cup organizing committee has been in prison for around a year. He had campaigned for migrant workers - and opposed OC chief Hassan Al-Thawadi.
In a letter published by the human rights organization Fair Square, the family once again drew attention to Ibhais' fate.
In early November, Ibhais spent four days "in solitary confinement in total darkness after being physically assaulted."
The case of Ibhai is also a case of Al-Thawadi
According to the family, Ibhais was in a cell that was two meters wide, with a hole in the floor as a toilet and "at temperatures close to freezing point".
The air conditioner was used "as an instrument of torture," it said.
"I already had several bruises from the jail guards' attacks and I was shaking all the time because the cold air that was directed at me never stopped," said Ibhais, who also has a say in the letter: "I have in these hardly slept in four days.«
The case of Abdullah Ibhai is also a case of Hassan Al-Thawadi.
The head of the World Cup organization, as suggested by the records of a WhatsApp chat reported by Sportschau and the Norwegian football magazine Josimar, wanted to prevent critical reporting on the World Cup in 2019.
At that time, pictures of striking guest workers went around the world.
Ibhais was later sentenced to three years in prison for allegedly accepting bribes.
His family spoke of an “arbitrary verdict” and a “mock court”.
In the letter, Ibhais' family also addresses Fifa and its president Gianni Infantino.
They are "partly to blame" for Abdullah's imprisonment, the relatives criticized the "silence" and the "indifference" of the world association.
They also demanded their immediate release.
According to media reports, Fair Square is contacting the United Nations (UN) Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in the case.
Fifa and the World Cup OK confirmed to the British "Guardian" that they had knowledge of the contents of the letter.