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World Cup security guards still jailed in Qatar after dispute over unpaid wages

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Three World Cup security guards who were detained while trying to resolve a dispute over unpaid wages are still being held in Qatar four months after their arrest.Shakir Ullah and Zafar Iqbal from Pakistan, and an Indian national, have allegedly been sentenced to six months in prison and fined 10,000 riyals (£2,220) each.The findings, first established by the human rights group Equidem and verified by the Guardian, are a shocking postscript to the World Cup, which Fifa promised would leave a lasting legacy of better workers’ rights in the Gulf state.

Qatar has not commented on the case.The three men were among hundreds of security guards, employed by Stark Security Services, a local private security company, who were deployed at key sites throughout the World Cup but were laid off in the days after the final, with months still left on their contracts.Ullah, who was affectionately known as chacha (uncle in Urdu) by his colleagues, was described by one as a “calm, quiet person, but when it comes to his rights, he will not allow you to cheat him”.Calling for the immediate release of the three men, Equidem’s director, Mustafa Qadri, said the men had been punished for simply demanding what they and hundreds of their colleagues were owed after their contracts were terminated early.“This is the true cost of Fifa’s reckless disregard for the rights of people who help them generate huge profits,” Qadri said.Hundreds of other former Stark Security workers are also coming to terms with their own traumatic ordeal after disputing the early termination of their contracts.While Lionel Messi lifted the World Cup trophy in Qatar after what Fifa’s president, Gianni Infantino, called the “best ever” World Cup, Jacob* and Patrick*, from

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