A construction site in Doha
A construction site in Doha. Rights groups say more than 1,200 migrant workers have died building World Cup facilities. Image Credit: AFP

Cairo: Several human rights groups have accused a Qatari self-styled rights advocate and his government panel of covering up the death of more than 1,200 migrant workers while building sports facilities for hosting the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK and Europe, the African Human Right Heritage, and the Gulf Association for Rights and Freedom have said they filed a joint complaint against Ali Bin Samikh Al Marri, the secretary general of Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee.

They also accused Al Marri of taking advantage of his panel to whitewash Qatar’s image and wasting the small emirate’s money for “politicising” rights issues.

The complaint has been lodged with several international institutions, including the Global Alliance for Natuional Human Rights, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Human Rights Committee at the European Union and the world football body, the FIFA.

The three watchdogs have asked the Global Alliance for National Human Rights to open an inquiry on Al Marri’s complicity and ensure he and his panel will not escape punishment, they said in a press statement.

“We call for opening a transparent and impartial investigation into abuses against migrant workers in Qatar,” they added.

The three groups said they will soon give a press conference in Geneva to launch a campaign entitled “Disclosing Facts in Qatar”.

Their complaint was made public as a conference against impunity, organised by the Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee, started Sunday in Doha.