World Cup: Qatar Deports Hundreds Of Migrant Workers

In a fresh report, it has been revealed that the Qatari authorities have given a fresh directive to evict some hundreds of migrant workers from most of the buildings in central Doha which is coming  on the countdown to the World Cup.

Some of the municipal workers and some security guards had reportedly moved into about 12 buildings late on Wednesday to clear and lock them, according to local residents, ahead of the tournament which would be kicking off on November 20.

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The Quatari government had also revealed that the buildings were “uninhabitable”, proper notice was given, and that alternative “safe and appropriate accommodation” had been found for all evictees.

The affected area which was largely around Al-Mansoura, has been massively redeveloped in the recent years and some World Cup fans will be staying in some of the apartments in the district, where dozens of mechanical diggers are parked in the streets.

In the early hours of Saturday, Yunus, a Bangladeshi driver, slept on the back of his flat-bed truck on a street in Al Mansoura, three nights after being forced out of one block.

“The first night it was chaos and there was not enough room for everyone to go to other places,” he said.

In any case, “this truck is my life and I will not leave it until I have somewhere where I can park it” near the new accommodation, he added.

Yunus had also revealed that it was the third time he had been forced to move in three years.

Migrants who have been dominated by an influx from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal, the Philippines and African nations including Kenya and Uganda — make up more than 80 percent of Qatar’s 2.8 million population.

Qatar has faced intense scrutiny over the treatment of foreign labourers who had also built most of the shiny new stadiums and transport infrastructure for the World Cup and the energy-rich state has been criticised over deaths, injuries and unpaid wages.

International unions had also revealed that there has been a drastic improvement in conditions in recent years and Qatar has highlighted its reforms, but rights groups say more must be done.

The South Asian manager of a 24-hour store in Al Mansoura, who told AFP he saw evictions from two buildings, said most of the workers paid no rent and had no leases.

“They are basically squatters,” he said, on condition of anonymity. “They stay a few months in one building and then are forced to find another.

“They were good clients. I had brought in extra rice because they buy so much, now I am left with it,” the manager added.

“In this case, it is the timing so close to the World Cup that is all wrong.”

Qatar’s World Cup organisers, who have reserved some apartment buildings, referred queries to the government.

Qatar’s government said authorities acted under a 2010 law against “informal and unplanned housing arrangements”.

“Residents found to be living in uninhabitable accommodations with no formal contracts are given the opportunity to move elsewhere in a reasonable timeframe,” a Qatari government official told AFP.

“Officials always ensure individuals are rehoused in safe and appropriate accommodation.”

Residents said most of the evicted men would move to Doha’s huge industrial zone or towns further from the capital.

Most of those evicted do not work for the major companies that provide accommodation and food for labourers.


Africa Today News, New York

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