Qatar’s ruling emir on Tuesday lashed out at criticism of his nation over its internet hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, describing it as an “unprecedented campaign” focusing on the primary Arab nation to carry the event.
Since profitable internet hosting rights for the World Cup over a decade in the past, Qatar has confronted scrutiny and criticism for its remedy of migrant employees and the homosexual neighborhood, amongst different points.
The alleged abuses affecting legions of low-paid laborers who energy Qatar’s economic system and who constructed its gleaming World Cup stadiums have been a lighting rod for protest all over the world, particularly in Europe.
Qatar has repeatedly pushed again, insisting the nation has improved protections for migrant employees and claiming the criticism is outdated.
In a televised speech earlier than the emirate’s legislative physique on Tuesday, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani mentioned Qatar “has been subjected to an unprecedented campaign that no host country has ever faced.”
“The campaign tends to continue and expand to include fabrications and double standards that were so ferocious that it has unfortunately prompted many people to question the real reasons and motives,” he mentioned.
Rights teams have credited Qatar with bettering its labor legal guidelines, corresponding to by adopting a minimal month-to-month wage of round $275 a month in 2020, and for largely dismantling the “kafala” system that had prevented employees from altering jobs or leaving the nation with out the consent of their employers. Nonetheless, activists name for extra to be accomplished.
In latest months stress has additionally mounted on Qatar over its criminalization of homosexuality. Qatari legislation requires a jail sentence of 1 to a few years for adults convicted of consensual homosexual or lesbian intercourse. European soccer federations final month introduced their intention for captains to put on an armband with a rainbow coronary heart design as a part of an anti-discrimination marketing campaign throughout worldwide matches.
Qatar has mentioned all are welcome on the World Cup, together with LGBTQ followers, however that guests ought to respect the nation’s conservative tradition, wherein public shows of affection — even amongst heterosexuals — is taboo.
On Tuesday, a veteran U.Okay.-based activist held a one-man protest in entrance of Qatar’s Nationwide Museum. Peter Tatchell, 70, held an indication accusing Qatar of jailing members of the LGBTQ neighborhood.
Organizers claimed he was arrested however later acknowledged that police had solely briefly questioned him on the sidewalk.
Qatar denied he was arrested and mentioned claims on the contrary are “completely false.”
“An individual standing in a traffic roundabout was cordially and professionally asked to move to the sidewalk, no arrests were made,” the federal government’s communications workplace mentioned in an announcement.
In his speech, Sheikh Tamim promised the obtrusive highlight of the world’s greatest sporting occasion would additionally profit Qatar.
“This is a great test for a country the size of Qatar that impresses the whole world with what it has already achieved and is achieving,” he mentioned.
The event begins on Nov. 20 and the ultimate is ready for Dec. 18.