On Thursday, Iranian-American human rights activist Masih Alinejad delivered an emotional speech at the WEF.
Danny SmurfTeacher Sunday View
Suddenly, the keynote speaker collapsed and fell from his chair. The audience at WEF watches helplessly until a man jumps onto the stage from the audience – a doctor tending to Masih Alinejat (46). Then the curtain falls. It was hectic behind the scenes until the Iranian-American human rights activist was finally taken away.
The incident, which took place on Thursday afternoon, caused a stir and raised questions about security.
There is no security guard in the Congress Hall
Where were the officers? What would have happened if the doctor had attended another event that afternoon? What if a major event occurred and there was a need to quickly evacuate the congress hall? What if there is an attack?
Now a security official from the WEF is unraveling. “When Masih Alinejad collapsed, none of us were in the congress hall,” the supervisor tells Blick. He is part of the 18-member committee responsible for internal monitoring of the WEF. Professionals in black stand at the forum’s entrances and event rooms. Your most important task: alerting the control center when things are dicey.
“It should have been like that on Thursday,” says the supervisor, who wished to remain anonymous. “But none of us were there. There was no report to headquarters, which would have called an ambulance immediately. And the security chief was not available.”
Security personnel were reduced by a third
No internal security staff in the conference hall – was it an accident? The supervisor waves it off. “We couldn’t cover all the cases.” In the epidemic, his team was reduced to a third. “It hasn’t been filled. So this year at the WEF we had far fewer staff than before the pandemic – but significantly more heads of government.
There is another problem: “Our team consisted of long-term employees. But this year, many of them are no longer invited. Instead, young people with no experience were hired.
At WEF they worked shifts every day that lasted up to 15 hours, the supervisor says. “The load is enormous. Fatigue increases, concentration decreases.” Even before the start of the WEF, the atmosphere in the team was affected. “Last Sunday, two people in charge of the Security Center walked out and resigned.”
“It’s a shot across the bow”
This is clear to the supervisor: “Safety is not guaranteed at WEF. It could have been a disaster.” The forum needs to urgently increase its security staff and bring processes under control. “Thursday’s incident was shot across the bow. We might not be so lucky next time.”
WEF reassures. “The safety of all our attendees, employees and contractors comes first at the annual meeting,” says a Blick’s spokesperson. “As every year, we are working closely with the Swiss authorities, government and police to ensure the highest safety standards for all involved.” This includes first aid and medical assistance during the event.
The WEF was more specific: “As a matter of policy, we do not release any confidential data, such as information about medical emergencies or security considerations.”
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