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The Government Communications Office clarified that the issue of stopping the crew of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, at dawn on November 22, is related to the aforementioned crew deliberately trespassing on private property and filming in it without obtaining a permit or obtaining prior permission.

Accordingly, the Government Communications Office said – in a statement published on its website on Wednesday – that the relevant security authorities suspended members of the media crew, after receiving a complaint from the owner of private property that had been infringed by the aforementioned crew. 

He added: After their arrest for only one day, they were released without any charges being brought against them, on the morning of November 23, after completing the necessary legal procedures against them.

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It is noteworthy that trespassing on the property of others is contrary to Qatari law, as is the case in most countries, where the crew members were fully aware of this before they entered private property. 

Knowing that the crew of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation was allowed to film in all the places where they requested to shoot and in various regions in the State of Qatar, in addition to providing them with all the filming permits that were requested by them before their arrival in the State of Qatar, and they were also offered to conduct press interviews with Senior officials of the Qatari government and other parties. 

The Government Communications Office said: Despite all that, these freedoms do not mean in any way that the common law that the crew knowingly and intentionally violated will not be applied, as these violations resulted in the crew being temporarily detained and then released.

The statement stressed that the State of Qatar’s record in media freedom is rich and witnessed by all, and that the State of Qatar receives hundreds of journalists and international non-governmental organizations every year, and allows them to produce their reports in complete freedom. No journalist who respected the laws of the state in the performance of his duties has ever been arrested.