Qatar has emptied apartment blocks housing thousands of foreign workers in the same areas in the centre of the capital Doha where visiting soccer fans will stay during the World Cup.
They said more than a dozen buildings had been evacuated and shut down by authorities, forcing the mainly Asian and African workers to seek what shelter they could – including bedding down on the pavement outside one of their former homes.
The move comes less than four weeks before the Nov. 20 start of the global soccer tournament which has drawn intense international scrutiny of Qatar’s treatment of foreign workers and its restrictive social laws.
At one building which residents said housed 1,200 people in Doha’s Al Mansoura district, authorities told people at about 8 pm on Wednesday they had just two hours to leave. Municipal officials returned around 10.30 pm, forced everyone out and locked the doors to the building, they said.—Reuters