Qatar Detains Workers Protesting Late Pay Before World Cup

Qatar currently arrested at least 60 overseas workers who protested going months without pay and deported some of them, an advocacy group stated, simply three months before Doha hosts the 2022 FIFA World Cup.The move comes as Qatar faces excessive international scrutiny over its hard work practices beforehand of the tournament. Like other Gulf Arab nations, Qatar closely is predicated on overseas labor. The workers’ protest every week in the past — and Qatar’s response to it — should further fuel the concern.

The head of a hard work consultancy investigating the incident stated the detentions solid new doubt on Qatar’s pledges to improve the treatment of people. “Is this actually the fact coming out?” asked Mustafa Qadri, executive director of the institution, Equidem Research.

In a statement to The Associated Press on Sunday night time, Qatar’s government mentioned that “some of protesters have been detained for breaching public protection legal guidelines.” It declined to provide any records about the arrests or any deportations.Video photos published on-line showed some 60 workers irritated approximately their salaries protesting on Aug. 14 out of doors of the Doha offices of Al Bandary International Group, a conglomerate that includes construction, real estate, hotels, food provider and other ventures. Some of those demonstrating hadn’t acquired their salaries for as many as seven months, Equidem said.

The protesters blocked an intersection on Doha’s C Ring Road in front of the Al Shoumoukh Tower. The pictures matched recognized info of the road, consisting of it having several massive pics of Qatar’s ruling emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, looking down on passers-by way of.

Al Bandary International Group, that is privately owned, did now not reply to requests for comment and a smartphone quantity registered in its call did no longer connect on more than one tries to call it.

The Qatari authorities stated that the firm hadn’t paid salaries and that its Labor Ministry would pay “all behind schedule salaries and benefits” to the ones affected.

“The agency become already beneath investigation by using the authorities for nonpayment of wages earlier than the incident, and now in addition action is being taken after a closing date to settle fantastic salary bills turned into neglected,” the government stated.

Qadri stated police later arrested the protesters and held them in a detention center in which a few described being in a stifling heat with out air conditioning. Doha’s temperature this week reached around forty one levels Celsius (105.Eight degrees Fahrenheit).

Qadri described police telling the ones held that if they could strike in warm climate, they could sleep without air conditioning.

One detained worker who called Equidem from the reformatory described seeing as many as 300 of his colleagues there from Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Nepal and the Philippines. He stated some had been paid salaries after the protest even as others hadn’t. His remarks could not be corroborated.

Qatar, like different Gulf Arab countries, has in the past deported demonstrating overseas people, and tied residency visas to employment. The proper to shape unions stays tightly managed and to be had best to Qataris, as is the u . S .’s limited proper to meeting, consistent with the Washington-primarily based advocacy group Freedom House.

Qatar, a small, energy-wealthy kingdom on the Arabian Peninsula, is domestic to the country-funded Al Jazeera satellite tv for pc news network. However, expression in the u . S . Stays tightly controlled. Last 12 months, Qatar detained and later deported a Kenyan safety protect who wrote and spoke publicly about the woes of the united states’s migrant hard work force.

Since FIFA provided the tournament to Qatar in 2010, the usa has taken some steps to overtake the u . S .’s employment practices. That includes casting off its so-referred to as kafala employment system, which tied people to their employers, who had say over whether they may leave their jobs or even the country.

Qatar also has followed a minimal month-to-month salary of one,000 Qatari riyals ($275) for workers and required food and housing allowances for personnel now not receiving that without delay from their employers.

Activists like Qadri have known as on Doha to do more, particularly on the subject of making sure workers acquire their salaries on time and are included from abusive employers.

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