Kenyan security guard previously jailed in Qatar has been allowed to leave the Gulf country.
Malcolm Bidali was between May and June this year jailed and charged with offences related to “payments received by a foreign agent for the creation and distribution of disinformation”.
According to Middle East Eye, a London-based news outlet, Bidali was asked to pay a ‘hefty fine’ before leaving the country.
It is not clear whether he will head to the UK where his mother, Maggie Turner, resides or to Kenya.
A Human Rights group, Migrant Rights, claimed Bidali was held in solitary confinement without access to legal counsel for days.
“Until his release earlier this week, he had received no legal counsel. The charges against him aim only to silence a strong voice drawing attention to the human rights abuses of migrants in the country,” said the human rights group.
But Qatar’s official National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) said Bidali “was being treated properly”.
Blogging under a pseudonym, Noah, Bidali highlighted issues around poor working conditions, long working hours, unsuitable accommodation, among other issues.
The young security guard gave an account of working conditions for immigrants like himself to civil society groups. He was arrested a few days later.
Speaking to Al Jazeera, a Migrant-Rights.Org spokesperson said Bidali who moved to Qatar in 2016, had been blogging for them for at least a year before his arrest on May 4.