New Delhi announced that over 450 Indian laborers had died in Qatar in almost two years. The Indian Embassy in Qatar described the number of fatalities as “quite normal” given the large size of the Indian community in the gas-rich Persian Gulf state. The embassy added that most of the deaths were due to natural causes. However, Amnesty International urged the Indian government to provide more information about the deaths. “Instead of simply saying that such deaths are normal, the Indian government should provide clearer and more transparent information,” said Amnesty International India spokesman Nikhil Eapen in a Friday statement. “What we need to know is who these people were - how old they were and what work they were doing - and how they died.” Eapan also stated that India should work urgently with Qatar and other countries across the Persian Gulf “to address the serious labor abuses experienced by Indian migrant workers.” Figures published by the Indian Embassy in Doha have indicated
that 237 Indian migrant workers had died in Qatar in 2012 and 218 others died in the first 11 months of 2013. On average, about 20 migrants perished per month, peaking at 27 in August. Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch said the Qatari government must “take the deaths seriously and investigate them.” Reports published in January said that 191 Nepalese workers had also died in Qatar in 2013, many of them from “unnatural” heart failure. Migrant workers in Qatar live in extremely sordid conditions and they are deprived of any workplace security.