A MAN found hanged in a hotel in Qatar was tortured by the country’s secret police before his death on Christmas Day, an inquest has found.
Marc Bennett, 52, was found dead in his room at the Curve Hotel in Doha in 2019.
The father of three from Haywards Heath had been poached by Discover Qatar, a subsidiary of Qatar Airways, to boost the country’s tourism industry ahead of the World Cup
However, he was arrested in October after announcing he was quitting his job for a rival firm in Saudi Arabia, The Times reported.
Authorities pronounced his death a suicide, but a Sussex coroner ruled that “although Marc Bennett died of hanging, there is no concrete evidence of suicidal intent”.
An investigation by The Times has revealed that Marc was arrested after resigning from a senior post at Qatar Airways, held in a detention center where he was mentally and physically tortured and later banned from leaving the country.
Marc’s decision to leave the airline to work for a company in Saudi Arabia then involved in a diplomatic blockade of Qatar was “considered a massive insult,” a former senior official told The Times.
He reportedly told friends before his death that after his arrest by Qatari authorities, he was taken to an empty cell, stripped naked and had a high-pressure hose pointed at his genitals.
Marc was also allegedly thrown against a wall with the back of his head cut open while his guards pressured him to describe how he could “commit suicide”.
In an interview with the Times, Marc’s widow Nancy said: “He was worried, scared, he didn’t know what was happening.
“Hoping he would be deported, he was looking for flights every day – not necessarily to the UK but everywhere.
“He went for walks daily, he borrowed a friend’s bike, but when he was out he would walk with a hoodie pulled up and when cars slowed behind him he said his heart would start beating.”
Two nights before his death, Marc called home to meet up with his family and Nancy told the Times that everyone was “laughing and joking” during the call. There was also hope that he would visit friends in the New Year.
However, calls to Marc’s hotel room and mobile phone went unanswered on Christmas Eve and Sussex Police broke the news of his death on Christmas Eve.
Nancy told The Times: “There are so many questions. He left here with the whole world ahead of him.”
Qatar Airways told The Times that Marc is a “valued and well-loved former colleague… who has made a significant contribution to our business”.
“Although we were sad that he was leaving the business, he left us with our best wishes,” a company spokesman said.
The Qatari government did not respond to The Times’ requests for comment, but an official statement to the Foreign Office said Marc was “released in good health” and that security services were not responsible for his suicide.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/22851903.sussex-man-said-tortured-qatar-secret-police-death/?ref=rss A Sussex man said he was tortured by Qatar’s secret police before his death