Middle East

Qatar denies Amnesty report on deporting workers

Qatar says immigrant workers were engaged in illegal and illicit activity

Eyad al-Nabulsi  | 17.04.2020 - Update : 17.04.2020
Qatar denies Amnesty report on deporting workers

DOHA, Qatar

Qatar has rejected Amnesty International’s report alleging the oil-rich Gulf state expelled dozens of immigrant workers under the pretext of measures against coronavirus.

Officials said that during routine inspections these workers were found engaged in illegal and illicit activities and so were deported, according to a statement from the country’s Communications Office on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Amnesty International said: "Qatari authorities rounded up and expelled dozens of migrant workers after telling them they were being taken to be tested for COVID-19."

The government statement went on to accuse the rights watchdog of failing to acknowledge the measures taken by the authorities to safeguard public health.

"Since the start of the coronavirus global pandemic, Amnesty International has committed a disproportionate amount of time and resources to making unfounded allegations against Qatar," it added.

Qatar said it "treats all who are arrested or detained in our country with respect, dignity and humanity in line with international standards”.

So far, Qatar has reported seven deaths from the COVID-19 disease and 4,103 infections.

After originating in Wuhan, China last December, COVID-19 has spread to at least 185 countries and regions across the world.

The pandemic has killed over 146,000 people and infected some 2.16 million, while nearly 550,000 have recovered from the disease, according to figures compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

* Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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