Mystery as Brit travel exec, 52, found hanged in Qatar ‘after being tortured by secret police’ while promoting World Cup | The Sun

Mystery as Brit travel exec, 52, found hanged in Qatar ‘after being tortured by secret police’ while promoting World Cup | The Sun

A BRIT travel executive was mysteriously found hanged in Qatar after telling friends he had been tortured by the country's secret police.

Marc Bennett, 52, had been headhunted to boost Qatar's tourism industry ahead of the World Cup before dying in unexplained circumstances.

He resigned from the post with Discover Qatar, part of Qatar Airways, in October 2019 and was accused of sending "highly confidential documents" to an external email address.

Mr Bennett was arrested at the offices of his employer and taken away blindfolded and in handcuffs.

He later told how he was held for three weeks after being stripped of his clothes, hit against walls, blasted with high-pressure hoses and subjected to sleep deprivation techniques.

According to one of Mr Bennett's former colleagues, his resignation had been viewed as a "massive insult", reports The Times.

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Lawyers from the United Nations said there have been "credible allegations" of ill-treatment where Mr Bennett was detained.

Ten weeks after his arrest, Mr Bennett -a former director at Tui and Thomas Cook – was found hanged at the Curve Hotel in Doha on Christmas Day 2019.

Qatari authorities ruled his death as suicide, but a coroner in the UK ruled there was "no specific evidence of suicidal intent".

The Brit coroner added that the "circumstances of the months leading up to his death remain unclear".

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He did not leave a suicide note and the night before he died he had been "laughing and joking" on a video call with his wife and kids.

Nancy Bennett, Mr Bennett's widow, told The Times: “There are so many questions. He left here with the whole world ahead of him.”

Mr Bennett's case was closed last September, a week after now Prime Minister Liz Truss became foreign secretary – despite being aware of concerns from the coroner and his family.

The following month, Ms Truss visited Qatar in a bid to start a "strategic dialogue" with the country and better cooperation on security, development, trade and investment.

Mr Bennett moved to Qatar in 2012 to work for Emirates and Dubai Tourism.

He then became senior vice-president of Discover Qatar, a Qatar Airways subsidiary, in 2017- reportedly working closely with Akbar al-Baker, the airline’s chief executive.

His role was to modernise the country's tourism sector ahead of the World Cup, which kicks off in November and will see 1.2million visitors enter Qatar.

Qatar Airways told The Times he had been reported to police shortly after his resignation after it found he had been sending "highly confidential documents" to a private email address.

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The country's authorities did not respond to The Times.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We provided assistance to the family of a British man following his death in Doha.”

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EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.

It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.

It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.

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That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.

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If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

  • CALM,, 0800 585 858
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