Qatar accused of fudging ‘independent’ inquiry into migrant World Cup workers . Questions are being raised over the law firm asked by Qatar to assess workers’ conditions on World Cup building sites
A top international law firm that was ordered by the Qatari government to conduct an “independent review” into allegations of modern-day slavery at World Cup construction sites is also a paid lobbyist for an arm of Qatar’s Al Jazeera television network, The Telegraph can disclose.
DLA Piper has received more than $300,000 (£186,000) in lobbying fees this year from Al Jazeera America according to official filings in the US, raising questions over whether it could conduct an unbiased assessment into allegations that have cast a pall over preparations for the 2022 World Cup.
The review was instigated in response to claims in The Guardian newspaper that Nepalese workers were dying at the rate of one per day as they toiled in extreme heat on World Cup infrastructure projects.
The story caused an international outcry and Sepp Blatter, head of the football world governing body FIFA, warned on Oct 4 that Qatar “needs to intervene” to address concern over its labour practices – forcing Qatar, which contests the allegations, to launch a public relations offensive.
That same day, Ali Ahmed Al Kholeifi, international affairs director at Qatar’s labour ministry, announced that DLA Piper had been asked “to undertake an independent review of the allegations and provide a report on their veracity to the ministry”.
- Qatar accused of fudging ‘independent’ inquiry into migrant World Cup workers (telegraph.co.uk)
- World Cup slaves probe run by paid lobbyists from Qatar (independent.ie)
- Paid lobbyists probe alleged Qatar labour abuse (gulfnews.com)
- EU parliament passes Qatar World Cup resolution (sbs.com.au)