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Amnesty International against boycott of the World Cup in Qatar

The human rights organization Amnesty International Germany does not consider a boycott of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to be sensible due to the numerous deaths and inhumane working conditions.

Berlin - "Amnesty relies on uncovering and making the grievances visible and engaging in dialogue with all those involved. Qatar has shown itself to be ready to talk and initiated reforms," ​​said Regina Spöttl, Qatar expert at Amnesty Internationally in Germany the news portal Watson. "There is progress and with a boycott it would be thrown back by years," she adds.

Last week The Guardian reported over 6,500 fatalities in connection with World Cup construction sites in the past ten years. "I'm afraid this high number is true. However, it is very difficult to check how many deaths there were in the vicinity of the World Cup and what the causes were," said Spöttl.

Qatar has not published any official data on this. In addition, it is difficult to understand the true cause of death, since the countries of origin of the guest workers such as India, Nepal or Bangladesh usually only state "heart attacks" or "natural causes" in the case of unexplained deaths. The statements of Bayern Munich's chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who had declared a few weeks ago in the "Current Sports Studio" that a "different culture" prevails in Qatar, were rejected.

"Unfortunately, that's a bit too simple. Every culture can respect human rights." Therefore, she demands that sports officials, players, associations and other participants get involved in order to "bring the problems closer to their interlocutors and personal contacts in Qatar".

In this way, the desert emirate could take on an important role model function in the Arab world. "If Qatar finally abolishes the kafala system and has good and fair labor legislation, it can play a very special role."

Double standards of Amnesty International
As it often happens with these NGO's they are plagued by contradictions. In 2019 Amnesty International called for an international boycott against Israel.
The NGO singled out digital tourism giants Airbnb,, Expedia and TripAdvisor, saying that they were profiting from "war crimes" by offering services to Israel's illegal settlements.

In January 2021, when the British government appointed  William Shawcross to head the review of Prevent, its anti-radicalisation programme, Amnesty International and sixteen other human rights and community organisations announced they would boycott the review in protest at the appointment of Shawcross as its chair as they feared a “whitewash” because of his known hard-right anti-Muslim political positions.

Photo: AFP/Getty Images
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