World Cup 2022: Qatar evicts migrant workers from unsafe buildings

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Residents and workers reported on Saturday that authorities in Qatar had evicted hundreds of migrant workers from central Doha buildings, casting a new pall over the World Cup countdown.

Municipal workers and security guards, according to local residents, moved into about 12 buildings late on Wednesday to clear and lock them ahead of the tournament, which begins on November 20.

The government stated that the buildings were “uninhabitable,” that proper notice had been provided, and that alternative “safe and appropriate accommodation” had been found for all evictees.

In recent years, the affected area has been massively redeveloped, and some World Cup fans will stay in apartments in the district, where dozens of mechanical diggers are parked on the streets.

Yunus, a Bangladeshi driver, slept on the back of his flat-bed truck on a street in Al Mansoura in the early hours of Saturday, 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.

Migrants account for more than 80% of Qatar’s 2.8 million population, with the majority coming from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal, the Philippines, and African countries such as Kenya and Uganda.

Qatar has come under fire for its treatment of foreign workers who built the majority of the World Cup’s new stadiums and transportation infrastructure.

The energy-rich state has come under fire for deaths, injuries, and unpaid wages.

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