Exclusive: Thousands of workers evicted in Qatar’s capital ahead of World Cup

  • Empty building for Asian and African workers.
  • Some residents were given two hours’ notice to leave their homes.
  • The World Cup has brought attention to the treatment of Qatari workers.

DOHA, Oct. 28 (Reuters) – Qatar has demolished an empty apartment housed by thousands of foreign workers in the same area in the heart of Doha, the capital where football fans will stay during the World Cup. A worker who was kicked out of the house told Reuters.

They said more than a dozen buildings were evacuated and shut down by authorities. forcing most Asian and African workers to seek shelter where they can including laying a bed on the sidewalk outside one of their houses.

The move comes less than four weeks before the start of world football on Nov. 20, which has drawn intense international scrutiny on Qatar’s treatment of foreign workers and social laws. strict

In a building where villagers said 1,200 people were in Doha’s Al Mansura district, officials told people at around 8 p.m. Wednesday they had only two hours left.

Municipal officials returned at around 10:30 p.m., forcing everyone to leave and lock the building’s doors, they said, some men unable to return to pack their belongings in time.

“We have nowhere to go,” a man told Reuters the next day. As he prepares to sleep for a second night with about 10 other men, some shirtless in the heat and humidity of the Arabian state in the fall.

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He and other workers Most of the people who spoke to Reuters Refusing to provide names or personal details for fear of retaliation from authorities or employers.

Nearby, five men were carrying mattresses and a small refrigerator in the back of a pickup truck. They said they found a room in Sumaysima. It is about 40 km (25 miles) north of Doha.

A Qatari government official said: The expulsion is not related to the World Cup. and designed “In line with a comprehensive and ongoing long-term plan to reorganize the Doha area.”

“Since then Everyone was taken back to safe and suitable accommodation,” the official said. And added that the request to move out “Must be properly informed.”

World Cup regulator FIFA did not respond to requests for comment and Qatar’s World Cup organizers have referred questions to the government.

“Ghetto Intent-ISATION”

About 85% of Qatar’s 3 million population are foreign workers. Many people who have been fired from their jobs are drivers. daily worker or have contracts with various companies but are responsible for arranging their own accommodation Unlike those who work at large construction companies who live in camps where tens of thousands of people live.

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One worker said the expulsion targeted single men. while foreign workers with families were not affected.

Reuters journalists saw more than a dozen buildings where residents said people had been evicted. Some buildings turned off electricity.

Most are in neighborhoods where the government has rented out buildings for World Cup fans. The organizers’ website lists buildings in Al Mansoura and other districts where flats are advertised for between $240 and $426 per night.

Qatari officials said Municipal authorities enforced a 2010 Qatari law banning “worker camps within family residential areas”, a designation that covers most of central Doha. and empower them to move people away

Some of the evicted workers said. They hoped to find a place to live among specially built worker’s quarters in and around it. An industrial area on the southwestern outskirts of Doha or in the outlying cities. which is a long journey from their job

Vani Saraswathi, Project Director at Migrant-Rights.org which campaigned for foreign workers in the Middle East, said the expulsion “Keep Qatar’s majestic and wealthy buildings in place without realizing the cheap labor that makes it possible.”

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“This is intentionally building a slum at the best time. But the eviction with almost no notification. considered too inhuman to understand.”

Some workers said they had been evicted incessantly.

One said he was forced to change buildings in Al. Mansura at the end of September only to move 11 days later without prior notice. as well as about 400 other buildings. “In a minute we have to move,” he said.

Mohammed, a driver from Bangladesh, said he had lived in the same neighborhood for 14 years until Wednesday. When the municipality told him he had 48 hours to leave the villa where he lived with 38 other people.

He said workers building infrastructure for Qatar to host the World Cup were pushed away as the tournament drew to a close.

Who built the field who built the road Who created everything, Bengal, Pakistan, people like us. Now they are getting us all out.”

(This story has been refiled to clarify that the empty suites are in the same area in Doha that football fans will visit during the World Cup in the lead paragraph.)

Reporting by Andrew Mills; Written by Dominic Evans; Compiled by Ken Ferris

Our Standard: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles

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