LONDON: British engineer Brian Glendinning, detained in Iraq, now faces extradition to Qatar for failing to repay a bank loan, the Guardian has reported.

On September 12, Glendinning was arrested on an Interpol “red notice” at Baghdad airport and has since been held in a police cell, pending an extradition hearing.

Upon his arrest, the 43-year-old father of three was told an Interpol notice had been issued by Qatar for apparent missed payments, which his family said was a loan of 20,000 £ ($22,124) contracted in 2018 while working in the Gulf state.

Glendinning’s wife Kimberly told the Guardian her husband struggled to repay his loan after falling ill this Christmas and losing his job in Scotland. She insists, however, that monthly payments were still being made to Qatar National Bank, with which he was in regular contact.

According to the Guardian, the Qatari government has not yet filed an extradition request. Meanwhile, Iraq does not apply the general rule that an extradition request must be made within 45 days of arrest. In this case, Glendinning risks being detained for an extended period in Baghdad.

Radha Stirling, the founder of IPEX, an NGO aimed at reforming Interpol and its extradition process, accused Qatar of abusing the Interpol system. Relatives of victims were often forced to pay more than what was owed to them to prevent their loved ones from spending long periods in prison, she said.

“We will make every diplomatic and legal effort to save Brian from extradition. Qatar is becoming a nuisance and costing taxpayers a lot of money,” Stirling said.

“We have helped Britons arrested in Spain (on an Interpol notice issued by Qatar) on several occasions, in the Czech Republic, Italy, Denmark, Ukraine, etc. Police and court time is costly and the victim may be unjustly detained throughout the trial,” Stirling added.

As Qatar prepares to welcome 1.2 million visitors for the World Cup from November 20, Sterling has warned football fans on the go that minor infractions could be used as an excuse by the Qatari government against the visitors once the final is over.

“This is a human rights issue and clearly highlights Qatar’s intimate relationship with Interpol. As the World Cup approaches, Qatar should be alert to violations of the rights of foreigners,” said Sterling.