Palestinians in Gaza speak of life under Israeli occupation.
"The Islam of Timbuktu was taken hostage"
13 Nov 2013 17:23 GMT | Business & Economy, Middle East, Qatar
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has been asked to intervene in the case of French footballer Zahir Belounis, who says he has been stranded in Qatar for two years in a contractual dispute with a local club.
The international players union FIFPro has written to Blatter saying that it remains "deeply concerned about Belounis' precarious situation".
It said Belounis, 33, is stranded in Qatar, with his wife and two daughters, and being denied an exit visa until he agrees to drop a legal case against his former club, Al-Jaish, over his claim of almost two years unpaid wages.
FIFPro says secretary-general Theo van Seggelen wrote to Blatter asking for his "urgent intervention" with Qatari officials on behalf of Belounis.
The case could embarass Qatar, which has been accused of violating the rights of thousands of expatriate workers who are building the infrastructure for the 2022 football World Cup.
Belounis' case has also highlighted the "kafala" employment system in Qatar, which stops workers from leaving without written permission from employers.
The union says Al-Jaish stopped paying Belounis after it exceeded its quota of foreign players.
It said Belounis joined the club in 2007. He later extended his contract until June 2015 but from November 2011 the club stopped paying his salary.
The club, it said, then put him under pressure to terminate his contract and sign a document confirming he was owed nothing by Al-Jaish.
Belounis refused, concerned his signature would invalidate any claim.
At the very least, Van Seggelen added, he should be freed, able to play for a new club and be guaranteed that he can claim his unpaid salary in a case before FIFA's dispute resolution system.
The Special Rapporteur praises progress, but says many migrants face human rights violations in the Gulf state.
Politics, Business & Economy, Middle East, Qatar
As FIFA meets to discuss plans for the 2022 World Cup, pressure is growing over alleged labour abuses.
Nepal, Qatar, Switzerland, United Kingdom
Content on this website is for general information purposes only. Your comments
are provided by your own free will and you take sole responsibility for any direct
or indirect liability. You hereby provide us with an irrevocable, unlimited, and
global license for no consideration to use, reuse, delete or publish comments, in
accordance with Community Rules & Guidelines and Terms and Conditions.
Critics cry foul as production exploring youth radicalisation mysteriously pulled after police visit.
Censorship, United Kingdom, Human Rights
Calais is the most visible sign of France's refugee influx, but smaller camps scattered across the north are growing.
Refugees, Human Rights, War & Conflict
Medicine finally joins religious therapy for thousands suffering psychological disorders in southern Tamil Nadu state.
Mental health, Religion, Poverty & Development
Facing sanctions and stigma, Iranian Americans are pushing for the nuclear deal to survive Congress' September vote.
Politics, Iran, United States
Volunteers struggle to provide aid to thousands of refugees who have been blocked from departing to other EU countries.
Human Rights, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Europe
Armed men dressed in military uniforms storm construction site in Iraq's capital, taking 17 Turks and three Iraqis.
Middle East, Iraq, War & Conflict
People & Power investigates South Korea's disturbing rise in suicides, particularly among the elderly.
Health, Asia, South Korea
Thailand's prime minister talks about his military takeover, press freedom, poverty, and constitutional reform.
Human Rights, Politics, Thailand
After days on a crowded boat crossing the Mediterranean, one Syrian refugee family strives for a new future in Austria.
War & Conflict, Syria, Immigration
The chilling and courageous account of a Danish-Somalian boy in Copenhagen who fell victim to al-Shabab recruiters.
War & Conflict, Al-Shabab, Denmark