Qatar. The population of Qatar was reported in March to
have passed 2.5 million. The number of residents has
increased from less than 1 million in just ten years as a
result of the large influx of foreign workers in the oil
industry and the construction sector.
countryaah, results from a census carried out last year showed that
58% of the population lived in what was officially called
"labor camps". An overwhelming majority of them were men.
The conditions for migrant workers and, not least, poor
accommodation, have long been criticized by human rights
groups. The week before the report was published, 13 workers
were killed in a fire in a labor camp. However, the
government rejected the charges during the year, pointing
out that the first of seven planned communities will be
opened, which will hold a total of 260,000 workers.
In November 2006, the English-language version of
al-Jazeera went live and quickly overtook BBC World in
viewership. BBC World had until then been the largest global
TV channel of high quality. Al Jazeera's English-language
channel contributes to breaking the censorship prevalent in
most Western media - especially around coverage of the
Israel / Palestine conflict.
Hamad Bin Jassem Bin Jabr Al-Thani was appointed Prime
Minister in April 2007, replacing Abdullah ibn Khalifa
al-Thani. The new prime minister is considered to be the
government's strongest man.
In 2007-08, the country's economy benefited from the
right oil prices. It will continue for about 40-50 years
before the country's oil and gas reserves are exhausted.
As in the other Gulf states (and Western Europe), migrant
workers have continued to suffer harsh conditions, being
subjected to discrimination and violence. About 80% of the
population are migrant workers.
In February 2010, Qatar signed a defense agreement with
Iran involving the exchange of technical committees,
cooperation around training and security cooperation to
combat terror and insecurity in the region. In March,
Qatar's Prime Minister fully supported Iran's nuclear
program and recognized the country's full right to use
nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
In December 2010, FIFA chose Qatar to host the soccer
world championships in 2022. Qatar pledged to spend $ 80-100
billion. US $ to build 9 new stadiums, a new airport, metro
and rail lines, a new bridge to Bahrain, 54 training camps
and a large number of new hotels. From 2012 and 13, more and
more reports about the horrific conditions under which the
construction workers were working began to emerge. All
construction workers are foreign - a large number of them
from Nepal - and they work under slave-like conditions and
are exposed to a large number of accidents due to lack of
safety at work. 90% of the workforce in Qatar is foreign.
The reports in 2013 and 14 became so severe that the
pressure to take Qatar host role grew.
Despite calls on Facebook and Twitter, Qatar never joined
the Arab Spring. This must be seen in light of the fact that
the country's own population of more than 200,000 lives a
comfortable life serviced by 1.5 million people. guest
workers without rights. Human rights continue to have
difficult conditions in the sovereign state. Blogger Sultan
al-Khalaifi was arrested on March 2, 2011 and held in
isolation for a week. He was released again April 1 without
charges. Al-Khalaifi is at the same time the founder of a
human rights organization in the country. Public servant
Salem al-Khawari was arrested Feb. 7 and was held without
charge until Oct. 18. The first 3 months in complete
isolation. He was forced to get up 15 hours a day, prevented
from sleeping and was beaten. Authorities subsequently
declined to investigate the chargestorture. At least 6
people were sentenced to whip punishment in 2011 and 3 were
sentenced to death without the sentence being enforced.
The outbreak of the "Arab Spring" in 2011 led to a
dramatic political shift for the emir's TV channel
al-Jazeera. The channel had until then played a progressive
and critical role in the otherwise conservative Arab media
world, but the emir feared that the democratic tendencies
would eventually overthrow him too, just as the dictators of
Tunisia and Egypt were overthrown. Al-Jazeera now became a
political tool for the emir and aimed to suppress news of
democratic trends in the conservative Arab states, while
helping to bring down the non-conservative states. Initially
Libya and then Syria. The violent backlash in the
conservative direction led many journalists to leave the