Marc Bennett: Man promoting soccer World Cup found hanged in Qatar hotel room after 'torture by secret police’

Marc Bennett: Man promoting soccer World Cup found hanged in Qatar hotel room after 'torture by secret police’
Marc Bennett was found hanged in The Curve Hotel on Diplomatic Street in Doha, Qatar on Christmas Day 2019 (Screenshot/Travel News YouTube and The Curve Hotel/Facebook)

DOHA, QATAR: A British travel industry expert was found hanged in a hotel in Doha, on Christmas days, just two months after he resigned from his job and told his friends he was tortured by Qatar's "secret police." Marc Bennett 52, is a travel industry executive and was headhunted to become the senior vice-president at Discover Qatar, a Qatar Airways subsidiary to boost the country's tourism industry for the World Cup.

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In October 2019, Bennett resigned from the company and was reported to the police on the accusation that he had sent "highly confidential documents" to an external email address. Two months later, Bennett was found hanged in the Curve Hotel on Diplomatic Street in Doha after informing his friend he was detained and tortured by "secret police." His death was labeled as a suicide but a coroner in the UK said that Bennett showed "no signs of suicidal intent."

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Marc Bennett's resignation was considered to be a "massive insult," reports The Times. Two months before his death he was accused of sharing confidential documents and was arrested at the Qatar Airways office where he was handcuffed and blindfolded and taken to a state security detention center. Three weeks after his arrest he was released he said, he was stripped of his clothes, hit against walls, sprayed with a high-pressure hose, and subjected to sleep deprivation techniques.

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After his release, he was subjected to legal limbo, unsure if he will be charged or arrested again. Sources reported, lawyers from the United Nations received "credible allegations" against the poor treatment of Bennett during the time. After his tragic death, it was made aware by a coroner in the UK that he showed "no signs of suicidal intent," adding that "the circumstances of the mind leading to his death remains unclear."

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Marc Bennett
Marc Bennett, 52, a travel industry executive was found dead under unusual circumstances two months after he resigned in 2019 (Breaking Travel News/YouTube)

Bennett's wife Nancy, claimed she had talked to him a night before he died and said he was laughing and joking with her and their children. Nancy said in an interview, "there are so many questions." "He left here with the whole world ahead of him," The Times reported. Bennett's case was closed after a week after Prime Minister Liz Truss became Foreign Secretary. The Foreign Office was aware of the concerns adjoining his death, including the coroner's revelations and Bennett's families. A mother later Truss visited Qatar in a bid to boost economic and security ties.

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Marc Bennett moved to Qatar in 2012 to take up senior vice-president roles for Emirates and Dubai Tourism. When he was headhunted to become the senior vice-president of Discover Qatar and worked closely with Akbar al-Baker, chief executive of the company, colleagues said. In November, Qatar will host the World Cup, welcoming 1.2 million visitors to the country. Its travel industry has spent millions to portray Qatar as an ideal holiday destination, including a promotional film starring David Beckham. A spokesperson reported that Foreign Office has provided assistance to Bennett's family after his death.

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