Dhaka, Jan 30 (EFE).- A court on Monday asked the government for a list of Bangladeshi migrant workers who died while constructing hotels and stadiums in Qatar in the run-up to the 2022 football World Cup.
The court also asked the foreign ministry and expatriates welfare and overseas employment ministry to prepare a list with names of Bangladeshi migrant workers involved in construction works in Qatar.
The High Court bench of Justice Farah Mahbub and Justice Ahmed Sohel issued the directive in response to a public interest litigation filed by a Bangladeshi lawyer in December.
Citing international media and human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, the petitioner, Masood Reza Sobhan, told the court that at least 450 Bangladeshi migrant workers and scores of others were injured during construction activities in Qatar between 2010 and 2022 in preparation for the World Cup.
“Workers were treated inhumanely in Qatar. Sometimes they had to work for 14 hours under 52 degrees Celsius temperature. But Qatari laws did not allow them to protest,” Sobhan told EFE.
“The order will now be sent to the Bangladesh mission in Qatar and the Bangladesh consulate in Geneva so that they can start talks with the Qatari government and FIFA, the partners-in-crime, about compensation for these dead or injured victims,” he said.
Despite the successful hosting of the World Cup, in which Lionel Messi’s Argentina were champions, host Qatar has yet to address the enduring controversy of its treatment of the thousands of migrant workers who built its grandiose stadiums amid allegations of unpaid salaries, abusive contracts, and harsh working conditions in searing temperatures.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have denounced the semi-slave conditions and cases of mistreatment faced by migrant workers who constructed Qatar’s World Cup infrastructure.
Estimates vary. But some international media outlets say as many as 6,500 migrant workers died as a result of the conditions in the wealthy Gulf nation.
Some 30,000 workers were active during the busiest period of construction.
Many deaths of Indian, Nepali, and Bangladeshi laborers in Qatar were attributed to “natural causes” by authorities in Qatar, where postmortem exams are reserved for exceptional cases only. EFE