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UK Human Rights Workers in Qatar Go Missing After Migrant Worker Report

Image: UK Human Rights Workers in Qatar Go Missing After Migrant Worker Report
In this October, 2013 file photo, foreign laborers work at the construction site for a new corniche road in Doha, Qatar. (EPA/Landov)

By    |   Friday, 05 Sep 2014 09:06 AM

Two U.K. human rights workers in Qatar went missing last week after their investigation into possible migrant worker mistreatment ruffled some feathers, according to the Norwegian non-governmental organization that hired them.

Krishna Upadhyaya, a 52-year-old human rights researcher, and Ghimire Gundev, a 36-year-old photographer, disappeared Sunday while working on a report on migrant worker issues in the nation that has faced increasing scrutiny since it won the rights to host the 2022 World Cup, Al Jazeera reported.

The Norwegian Global Network for Rights and Development has blamed Qatari security services for the disappearance of the men, but Qatar officials have yet to comment.

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"It is really regrettable that Qatar, which is signatory state to numerous international law conventions, especially on Enforced Disappearances, is carrying out such explicit violations of human rights," the GNRD said in a statement.

Fahad Atalla, a project manager for the Global Network in Norway, told The Associated Press that, while he can't prove that Qatari forces are behind the disappearance, it's only the logical conclusion.

"We're 99 percent sure they've been taken by the Qatari government authorities," Atalla told the AP. "We spoke to human rights organizations and government authorities, but no one knows what has happened to them."

According to the Global Network, Upadhyaya contacted a friend in Norway on Saturday saying that Qatari police were following and harassing them. Upadhyaya was working on a report on overworked migrant workers at the time of his disappearance, according to a statement issued by his family.

Gulf Arab countries like Qatar have become reliant on low skill and low-paid migrant workers from South Asia and the Philippines to fill jobs in its booming construction industry, the AP noted.

The treatment of those workers, though, has been heavily criticized by human rights groups and activists who say they are subjected to unsafe work environments, long work days, low and unpaid salaries, and other abuses.

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Two U.K. human rights workers in Qatar went missing last week after their investigation into possible migrant worker mistreatment ruffled some feathers, according to the Norwegian non-governmental organization that hired them.
uk, human rights, workers, qatar
343
2014-06-05
Friday, 05 Sep 2014 09:06 AM
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