— Published 23 August 2022

The workers took the door


With less than 100 days to go before the opening of the 2022 World Cup (20 November to 18 December), Qatar is cleaning up its act. According to the British NGO Equidem, a consultancy organisation specialising in human and labour rights, Qatar has expelled dozens of foreign workers after a demonstration to demand their unpaid wages. The events took place on Sunday 14 August. About 60 workers blocked traffic in front of the Al Bandary company in Doha. Some of them have not been paid for more than seven months. The Qatari authorities confirmed the detention of protesters, but refused to confirm the deportations. “A minority of people who have not demonstrated peacefully and have acted in violation of public security laws face deportation by court order,” they said on Sunday. The British NGO is more categorical. We have spoken to workers who have been protesting and to one who has been deported to Nepal,” says Equidem’s executive director Mustafa Qadri. We have confirmed that he has returned home, and that others from Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Egypt and the Philippines have also been deported. The Qatari Ministry of Labour, for its part, merely explained that it was paying the salaries of the Al Bandary workers, assuring that the company was already under investigation for non-payment of salaries.