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Human Rights is not a privelege - it is a fundamental basic principal of humanity. We see abuse all over the world of peoples basic rights and we must stand up to end this abuse. Every cause against the violation of other human beings is a worthy cause.

The Human Rights Committee and Ministry of Interior here in Qatar must become pro-active in ending the abuses taking place in its own country.

Human Rights abuses are more frequent in Qatar than what is actually reported. They are masked and hidden to the outward eyes looking in! The sponsors abusing law and human rights are often protected because they are Qatari Nationals. The rest of us which experience this abuse live in fear of reporting it to Authorities. Even in cases where it is reported, next to no action is taken against the perpetrator.

Instead those that do report such actions are often cancelled and deported or left to face bogus cases with all their rights stripped from them.

Come inside Qatar with us to take a look at what this dynamic, growing country, striving to gain a respectable image around the world - is really about.

Come on Inside!

From the outside Qatar looks like a booming country of opportunity striving to make changes to better itself. You can see, read and hear about all the wonderful changes under His Highness the Amir. Under his excellent leadership the country is building a respectable image as it participates in world events that concern us all.

Inside we see new towers everyday; grass growing in a baren land that once just a dessert; flowers that bloom in all shades and colors; a beautiful sea that practically surrounds the entire country; and the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

One can only look on with great respect as this small country comes to life under amazing leadership. Qatar's vision under his excellency comes alive because of the hundreds of thousands of laborers and people from all professions and nationalities that come to bring this vision to reality!

The expat community are contributing members of this society and this country. Without this community today and its ability to be sustained in the future Qatar will not realize its' ultimate vision.

One would have us believe that from a human rights point of view Qatar is progressing. It has in many ways progressed by instituting organizations such as the National Human Rights Committee. But at the end of day these bodies have next to no decision making authority.

The laws are in place but there is no one to enforce them. Let's take a look inside Qatar at what life is really like for the expats that devoted a part of their life to come and build this nation.

Let's take a look at all the camps of laborer's where accomodations are not fit for animals let only people.

Let us look at all the laborer's who came to Qatar from difficult countries with the hope of being able to provide better for their families. Their dream's shattered when they go months without the salary they rightfully earned.

Let us look at all the worker's needlessly killed and seriously injured because their employees chose to break the law.

Let us look at how often a sponsor gets away with wreckless and criminal negligence only to have those seeking their rights promised by law punished.

When you come inside you will wonder how is such a wealthy country, with such strong leadership and vision allowing it's own people to abuse human rights.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


At an anonymous request we drove out to Sanai at 11 pm at night to visit some a labor camp. When this request first came to us, I remember thinking there can not be other Group Security Systems here in Qatar. Convinced, I was one of the few expats that had ended up in a bad company, I agreed to go and was confident we would not see what I had witnessed at Group Security System.

Driving out to Sanai late at night is something I had done many times. Each time I go it does not get easier and one is left to feel that you just crossed some form of border from a city of wealth to the slums of poverty.

Finally, we find the camp that houses a few hundred workers. They are awaiting our arrival although you can feel the fear that is running through their bones. We assured them someone anonymous asked us to come and we were not visiting at their request.

Entering the camp gate, I experience again the same feeling I had every time I entered the camps at Group Security System. The first thing to hit my nose is the awful smell of sewage and as I re-open my eyes I see the garbage all over the place as the camp is a land fill site.

As I walk past the garbage to take a look further in one see the ground was recently wet from sewage. There are dozens of fridges and washers, etc.. None of them working. Their are plenty of washrooms for all the men and notably they happen to be cleaner then the kitchens where food is cooked. The kitchens, well my stomach heaved at seeing the filth, grime and disgust in which these people must prepare their food. The men are crammed into bedrooms which are infested with cock roaches.

Okay here is camp number 2 identical to Group Security System. Full with garbage and sewage that regularly overflows onto the grounds. No working refrigerators and kitchens not fit for cooking.

Men report constant illness! How can one be surprised when your living in bacteria infested camps?

The men eventually get paid their salaries! We said eventually! They express knowing better than to question their rights. They fear cancellation and deportation.

Many of these men came to Qatar from poorer nations. They paid a heavy price to agents in their respective countries for the privilege to come and some still paying that debt. Only to arrive in Qatar to face not being paid for long periods of time and living like animals herded into these bacteria infested camps.

Health, safety, protection and being paid our salaries for our work are basic human rights. They are instituted laws under Qatar Labor Law.

A look inside the camp is horror to the human eyes. But there is no greater horror than to look into the eyes of men who have no hope; whose moral and spirit have been shattered by the inhuman practises of a Qatar company; and where one is stuck and forced to live under such circumstances because the fear of asking for one's rights will bear punishment and consequence.

Where are the inspectors who are supposed to be neutral bodies governed by the Government to inspect such accommodations? Where is the General Manager of this company and how can this person support such inhumane practises? Where is the National Human Rights Committee and the Department of Labor?

Pictures and company information will be posted to this blog!

In the News - The Gulf Times - Sleepless in Doha

Letters to the Editor
Published: Monday, 11 August, 2008, 01:38 AM Doha Time

A sense of hope
Dear Sir, I would like to applaud Gulf Times for all its recent articles on the issues faced by the labour community in Qatar. It gives me a great sense of hope that people do in fact care about what happens to these people. I have had a very painful battle for well over a year now for having reported a company that was severely negligent with its employees and chose to break Qatar law.

While I have seen progress on behalf of the government and National Human Rights Committee, I feel that is very slow in coming. Companies are behaving this way because they are getting away with it and they bear no consequence for their actions. Since that time many labourers from other companies have come to me seeking help and guidance. I guess news spreads rapidly throughout this community and it is hard to turn your back on something you know is very wrong.

Reporting and following up on these matters has brought some help forward for these people. For me my actions have earned me the status of being detained by one owner determined to seek revenge. I have now been over one year in Qatar on an expired visa and am unable to exit.

Human Rights issues cannot be hidden by money and wealth and the companies who choose to behave in such a way should be exposed for what they are. I hope Gulf Times will continue to publish such stories.
Christine McPherson, P O Box 10445Doha

In the News

Several laborers from Asian countries working at a construction site in the Al Rayan area are seriously injured and rushed to hospital when the concrete roof of the building collapses on them. The company not disclosed in the news was in breach of Qatar Laws which state workers must not be working during the hours of 11:30 am to 3:00 pm for their protection.

Since this accident we have made it a point to drive throughout Doha during the hours of 11:30 to 3:00 pm and have found many worksites were not shut down and laborers continued to work.

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