The Chairman of Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) on Monday denied claims by The Guardian newspaper that the 2022 World Cup organisers were treating Nepalese construction workers like ‘slaves’.

Ali Al-Marri said the allegations, made last week, were totally erroneous. “There is no slavery or forced labour in Qatar,” he said at a press conference. “The information that The Guardian reported is false and the numbers cited by them are exaggerated.”

The Guardian report last Thursday said dozens of Nepalese workers have died while working in Qatar in recent weeks, raising concerns about the Gulf state’s preparations to host the World Cup. Quoting documents obtained by the Nepalese embassy in the Qatari capital Doha, The Guardian said thousands of Nepalese — at 370,000 the second largest group of labourers in Qatar after the Indians — faced exploitation and abuses amounting to “modern-day slavery”. — AFP

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