Abdullah Ibhais (36) is a Jordanian national and father of two boys, aged four and six. He is the former communications director for Qatar’s 2022 World Cup organizers, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, a government body in charge of planning and delivering the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
He was arrested on 12 November 2019 and taken to the CID offices in Duhail, in northern Doha, where he was interrogated by State Security officers. Later that day, Abdullah Ibhais was taken to his home while CID officers searched his house and confiscated his electronic devices. Nine days into his detention, Abdullah Ibhais was finally granted access to a lawyer. He was released on bail on 21 December 2019 pending trial. His case was transferred to another authority and no longer considered a matter of state security.
Abdullah Ibhais’s trial before a court of First Instance began in January 2020. Abdullah Ibhais retracted his “confession” claiming it was extracted under threat and coercion, and during interrogations that were held in the absence of a lawyer. The court did not investigate his claims and instead accepted the “confession” as evidence against him. After hearing four out of at least 10 witnesses, the judge halted the hearing sessions and refused to hear the defense in court and gave Abdullah Ibhais’s lawyer a few days to submit his defense in writing.