A human rights group is hoping to persuade travelers from Boston and other cities to avoid flying on Qatar’s state-owned airline when going to the Middle East as international attention focuses on the tiny country leading up to its hosting of the2022 World Cup.
The Washington-based Alliance for Workers Against Repression Everywhere is stepping up its push for a boycott of Qatar Airways because of what it alleges are human rights violations by the country and the airline.
Qatar Airways is one of the fastest-growing airlines in the world, known for its luxury service and fleet of new aircraft. This year it launched service from several major U.S. cities, including Boston, Atlanta and Los Angeles. In those cities, AWARE ran a public campaign using billboard ads, op-ed pieces and social media to urge travelers to boycott the airline.
The group cites the country’s poor record on women’s rights and gay rights and reports of poor working conditions for a large population of migrant workers who are building stadiums, roads, hotels and other infrastructure in Qatar as the country gets ready to host soccer’s World Cup. An Amnesty International report this year said migrant workers reported living in squalid conditions, having their payments withheld for months and having their passports confiscated.
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