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Female TV reporter is robbed live on air at Qatar World Cup

Argentinian journalist Dominique Metzger (pictured) was broadcasting from the Corniche in Doha during the build-up to the first game when she said items from her handbag had been stolen

An Argentinian television journalist was robbed live while reporting in Qatar on the World Cup, with money and documents stolen from her purse.

Dominique Metzger was broadcasting from the Corniche area of ​​Doha during the build-up to the tournament’s opener when she said the items had been stolen.

Speaking after the incident, Metzger said she reported the incident to local police and was surprised at their response.

She told her Todo Noticias (TN) network that officials had promised to identify the suspect – and said she could choose the punishment for the alleged thief.

Argentinian journalist Dominique Metzger (pictured) was broadcasting from the Corniche in Doha during the build-up to the first game when she said items from her handbag had been stolen

Argentinian journalist Dominique Metzger (pictured) was broadcasting from the Corniche in Doha during the build-up to the first game when she said items from her handbag had been stolen

“I had my little bag on me with everything we needed, my wallet, our hotel room keys, towels,” Metzger told a TN presenter.

“And you were dancing, weren’t you?” the anchor asked him.

“Yeah, I was dancing with the crowd and I’m sure that’s when someone unzipped the bag and took my wallet,” the reporter replied.

The anchor asked if she thought it was a pickpocket who stole her wallet. Although the robbery was not caught on camera, footage showed her dancing in the middle of a crowd with her bag hanging by her side.

“I didn’t realize at the time, you know you’re live, with music and crowds around you, and I was focused on you talking to me too.” So I didn’t pay attention.

“After I finished my live report, I wanted to take my wallet to buy a bottle of water, then I realized I didn’t have it,” she recalls.

In a bid to crack down on crime, Qatar has installed thousands of cameras around its newly built stadiums, as well as 15,000 high-resolution cameras inside each stadium, aided by facial recognition technology.

Metzger told her Todo Noticias (TN) network that officials had promised to identify the suspect – and said she could choose the punishment for the alleged thief

Metzger told her Todo Noticias (TN) network that officials had promised to identify the suspect – and said she could choose the punishment for the alleged thief

Metzger (left) said she was dancing with locals while on air and only realized after items were removed from her satchel

The report showed footage of the reporter dancing in the crowd and capturing the faces of some people close to Metzger. She said Qatari officials would be able to identify the suspect using facial recognition technology.

There are also cameras all along the Corniche – a waterfront promenade stretching over six kilometers along Doha Bay.

The tournament is controlled via a NASA-style control center from which – for the first time at a World Cup – all eight stadiums can be monitored simultaneously by staff who can zoom in on a single fan.

Metzger said when she went to report her wallet missing and claimed she was initially ignored because she was a woman. She said she was fired after learning her wallet would “appear” at some point.

“The male police won’t check you in,” Metzger said. “As soon as I got to the police station, they took me to another place where there were only women. I asked why I was there and they told me that as I am a woman, it must be a policewoman who must help me”.

Once seen by a female police officer, the reporter said she was shocked by what she was told.

“The moment I was taken for a statement was shocking. They said to me, “What do you want justice to do about this? We will find the wallet… We have cameras everywhere, high tech cameras and we will find the thief with face detection technology. What do you want justice to do to them when they are found?”.

Metzger said her belongings were stolen while she was reporting along the Doha Corniche ahead of the World Cup opener.  Pictured: People gather at the Corniche Waterfront ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 on November 19, 2022 in Doha

Metzger said her belongings were stolen while she was reporting along the Doha Corniche ahead of the World Cup opener. Pictured: People gather at the Corniche Waterfront ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 on November 19, 2022 in Doha

A man takes a photo on the Corniche promenade in Doha on November 20, 2022, during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

A man takes a photo on the Corniche promenade in Doha on November 20, 2022, during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

Confused by the question, Metzger said she asked the officers what they were talking about. They responded to him by asking, “Do you want him sentenced to five years in prison, deported?” He asked me to make the decision.

“I told them I just wanted my wallet back, I wouldn’t make the decision for the court system,” she told TN.

Metzger says she was robbed ahead of the opening match of the World Cup tournament, which saw hosts Qatar lose to Ecuador 2-0 after a flashy opening ceremony on Sunday night.

The beer ban imposed two days before the start of the tournament was the latest controversial snag in a global event already under scrutiny for Qatar’s human rights record and the emirates’ use of migrant workers to prepare the nation for the event.

And as Qatar lost their opening match, the fan zone in central Doha became a chaotic scene as tens of thousands of fans were pushed against police lines to enter the venue. Fans were trying to access the closed area which contained large screens to watch games and buy beer.

The incident involving the Argentinian journalist came after Qatar’s Supreme Committee last week rushed to apologize to Danish broadcaster TV2 after one of their reporters was threatened by security staff while he was live.

TV2 journalist Rasmus Tantholdt was speaking on a live broadcast when he was approached by security personnel who had appeared on a golf cart.

Dancers perform during the opening ceremony ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group A match between Qatar and Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium on November 20 in Al Khor, Qatar.

Dancers perform during the opening ceremony ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group A match between Qatar and Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium on November 20 in Al Khor, Qatar.

It quickly became apparent that he was not welcome to film and he was soon threatened with having his camera smashed and destroyed.

The clip, which has gone viral on social media, showed Tantholdt switching to English to seek clarification on where he may have misinterpreted filming rules in Qatar. “You invited the whole world here. Why can’t we film? It is a public place,” he said.

He quickly presented his press credentials on his phone, reaffirming their permissions to film, but as a man struggles with the camera lens, a security guard claims the camera will be destroyed if they don’t stop. no filming.

The Danes show their press credentials and say they have permission to film. Then the guards follow up with a threat. If they don’t stop filming, they will destroy the camera. “You can break the camera,” he added. ‘Do you want the beak? To chase. You threaten us by breaking the camera.

Danish journalist Rasmus Tantholdt was interrupted while presenting live on television in Qatar

Danish journalist Rasmus Tantholdt was interrupted while presenting live on television in Qatar

Security officials disputed that he was filming and soon threatened to destroy his camera

Security officials disputed that he was filming and soon threatened to destroy his camera

A security guard tries to explain that he is unable to film, despite his accreditation card

A security guard tries to explain that he is unable to film, despite his accreditation card

Speaking from Qatar to Norwegian outlet NRK, Tantholdt confirmed he has since received an apology from delegates in Qatar, but the fact that he was arrested during a live broadcast raises a number of concerns. concerns for him.

“I don’t think the message from the summit in Qatar has reached all the security guards,” he reportedly said.

“Therefore, you can say that some have misunderstood the situation, but at the same time, it says a lot about what it is like in Qatar.” This is where you can be attacked and threatened when reporting as free media.

“It’s not a free and democratic country,” he added. “My experience after visiting 110 countries around the world is that the longer you have to hide, the harder it is to report from there.”

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