A Danish journalist was told by Qatari police to remove a One Love armband live on air while covering the FIFA World Cup in Doha on Monday.
The One Love armband is a part of a campaign to promote inclusion and send a message against discrimination of any kind. It was first launched by The Netherlands, and supported by England, France, Denmark, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland and Wales.
It’s not directly associated to anti-LGBTW laws, but to promote inclusivity in Qatar, a country that has laws against same-sex relationships.
Jon Pagh, from Danish station TV 2 Sport, was speaking on camera outside the Denmark squad’s hotel when he was stopped by local police.
In a video doing the rounds on social media, an officer is seen informing the journalist that he must remove the armband, which is the topic of a hot debate.
Pagh refused to take it off, saying: "I respect that you are telling me that, but I can't take it off. Why is it not allowed? Is it because of the colours?"
The cop said “yeah” before pushing away the camera.
A protesting Pagh replied "It is just one love. It is just respecting everybody."
The reporter later explained what happened, and his stance, in an interview. “I think that when we are down here, we must be careful about doing activism, and we must be especially careful about provoking situations, but it was not at all in my mind that it would provoke anything,” he told Danish newspaper Tipbladet.
“I myself am also very careful not to do activism, but it is the same political message that is in FIFA's rules and human rights.
“For me it is not politics. It's human rights. It is an article of clothing which I wear and which in the Western world and according to all human rights I am allowed to wear.
“I really hope that no one takes this as an attempt to provoke anything. We are standing in the middle of the dark, 30 kilometres out in the desert. I didn't think for a second that this could be a problem.”