Skip to content
Qatar World Cup migrant workers ‘are infiltrated by informants to spy on whistleblowers trying to expose exploitation’


QATAR World Cup migrant workers have been infiltrated by informants to spy on whistleblowers trying to expose exploitation.

Activists investigating conditions in migrant worker camps say they are themselves being questioned by builders at stadium construction sites in Qatar.

4

Rights groups say Qatar is sending spies to monitor its World Cup squadCredit: Alamy
Qatar World Cup migrant workers ‘are infiltrated by informants to spy on whistleblowers trying to expose exploitation’

4

There are calls for Fifa to establish a compensation scheme for workers’ familiesCredit: AFP

They said the way they were questioned suggested their interrogators had been professionally trained, according to the Mail on Sunday.

Equidem, a global human rights organization that works exclusively in Qatar, has been told by sources that undercover security agents have been hired to eliminate whistleblowers.

“We are in constant contact with the workers in Qatar,” said Mustafa Qadri, managing director of Equidem.

“And so, although there is an element of speculation, we know that people from Kenya, India, Nepal, who look and talk like any normal worker, are basically asking questions of people known to be militants.”

Qatar World Cup migrant workers ‘are infiltrated by informants to spy on whistleblowers trying to expose exploitation’
Qatar World Cup migrant workers ‘are infiltrated by informants to spy on whistleblowers trying to expose exploitation’

According to Equidem, workers were able to sniff out heartless informants in the residential camps set up to build Qatar’s World Cup infrastructure ahead of the November tournament.

They claim that the spies have all arrived recently.

They are believed to have been hidden there to spy on human rights bodies and workers who seek to speak to them.

They would also be on the lookout for any potential strikes and terrorist activity.

“Our feeling is that this is organized by the government, not by individual companies,” Qadri said.

“But companies can also have their own staff.

“I have to be extremely careful. There has been a high level of scrutiny, not only of journalists and people like me who visit the countries, but also of workers.

“And there is a pattern of retaliation for workers who file complaints.”

Malcolm Bidali, a Kenyan whistleblower who worked as a security guard in Qatar, was jailed and fined for “spreading and publishing false news with the aim of endangering the public system of the state”.

Bidali was held in solitary confinement for a month before being released last June and said he was interrogated about reports he passed on about mistreatment of migrant workers at construction sites in world Cup.

Although work for the November championship is almost complete, workers told Equidem they have noticed an increase in strange activity at several sites.

“Yes, you have unions on the ground and other stakeholders doing a very good job, but there is this very tightly controlled space that you can operate in officially with government approval,” Qadri said.

“But if you’re outside of that, independent voices face significant risks.”

He said thousands of workers are still waiting to be paid while organizers have paid David Beckham £150million to serve as World Cup ambassador.

Qadri also noted that visiting journalists and activists were banned from taking photos of the camps and that migrant workers were threatened with deportation if they spoke to strangers.

Nicholas McGeehan, co-founder of human rights organization FairSquare, called on FIFA and Qatar to set up a compensation scheme for the families of workers waiting to be paid.

The Guardian has revealed how 6,500 migrant workers have died in Qatar since the hosting of the 2022 World Cup was handed over to the Middle Eastern country.

Qatar’s extreme summer heat and poor working conditions are believed to be factors in the deaths.

“Seventy per cent of migrant worker deaths are unexplained, and on World Cup stadium projects, that’s always running at 50 per cent,” McGeehan said.

“The unexplained death rate in the UK is probably 1%.

“The Qataris’ failure to put in place fundamental protections is inexcusable. Workers are essentially toiling in a toxic sauna.

“‘[Compensation] is doable and would transform the lives of the families who built this World Cup.

Qatar World Cup migrant workers ‘are infiltrated by informants to spy on whistleblowers trying to expose exploitation’
Qatar World Cup migrant workers ‘are infiltrated by informants to spy on whistleblowers trying to expose exploitation’

“Workers borrowed obscene sums of money to travel to Qatar in hopes of lifting their families out of poverty and some returned in body bags with no answers for loved ones as to how they died.”

The Qatari government called the allegations “demonstrably false” and said in an official statement that it is “working proactively with NGOs, such as Amnesty and Human Rights Watch, to resolve grievances brought to them by workers”. .

Qatar World Cup migrant workers ‘are infiltrated by informants to spy on whistleblowers trying to expose exploitation’

4

Thousands of Migrants Reportedly Died Trying to Build World Cup Stadiums in QatarCredit: Alamy
Qatar World Cup migrant workers ‘are infiltrated by informants to spy on whistleblowers trying to expose exploitation’

4

The Middle Eastern country will host the World Cup in NovemberCredit: AFP



the-sun

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.