Migrants 'stuck in Saudi' as Qatari bosses forced out

Rights body says Asian workers employed by Qataris in the kingdom have been left without accommodation and money.

    The NHRC head said the bloc's decision hit farmers who drive livestock between Saudi and Qatar [Al Jazeera]
    The NHRC head said the bloc's decision hit farmers who drive livestock between Saudi and Qatar [Al Jazeera]

    Migrants employed to work as farmers and domestic staff are stuck in Saudi Arabia after their Qatari bosses were ordered out of the kingdom amid a major regional crisis, a rights group has said.

    The workers from countries such as Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Nepal have been left without accommodation and money, Ali Bin Smaikh al-Marri, chairman of Qatar's National Human Rights Committee (NHRC), told a news conference in Qatar's capital, Doha, on Wednesday.

    "There are a lot of migrant workers affected by this decision," said Marri, adding that many of those impacted were farmers who drive livestock between the two neighbouring countries.

    READ MORE: Latest Twitter war in the Gulf - 'Boycott Harrods'

    "Usually the workers travel with Qataris - many Qataris employ farmers and travel with their domestic workers and drivers," he said.

    Qataris celebrate Eid al-Fitr with mixed feelings

    "The workers were not allowed to travel into Qatar and now they are living illegally in Saudi Arabia and do not have basic needs. They have no shelter and cannot access money."

    'Collective punishment'

    On June 5, Saudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egyptordered all Qataris, many of whom own properties and businesses in these countries, to leave and their own nationals to return home.

    The Saudi-led bloc's order was part of wider moves against Qatar, including the suspension of political, economic and diplomatic ties with Doha over accusations it is supporting "terrorism".

    The four countries have not provided any evidence for their claim, while Qatar has repeatedly rejected the allegation.

    The bloc also closed their airspace to Qatari carriers and blocked the emirate's only land border, a vital route for its food imports.

    ANALYSIS: The implications of the Qatar-Turkey alliance

    The NHRC has called for an immediate and unconditional lifting of the blockade on Qatar, describing it as "collective punishment" that resulted in "tearing up families".

    It has also said it has monitored several serious violations against Qatari students in the three Gulf countries - especially in the UAE.

    Also on Wednesday, Marri said that Qatar would employ a Swiss law firm to seek compensation for those affected by the Saudi-led blockade.

    "Some cases will be filed in courts in those three countries and in some courts that have international jurisdictions, like in Europe, related to compensation," he said, adding that many Qataris qualified for pay-offs.

    Can Washington push for a dialogue on the Gulf crisis? – Inside Story

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Revival: The Muslim Response to the Crusades

    Revival: The Muslim Response to the Crusades

    This part of 'The Crusades: An Arab Perspective' explores the birth of the Muslim revival in the face of the Crusades.

    Going undercover as a sex worker

    Going undercover as a sex worker

    A photojournalist describes how she posed as a prostitute to follow the trade in human flesh.

    Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

    Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

    It's time to change the way we talk and think about Africa.