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17 Jan, 2019 16:30

'Lock him up!' Boss who kept migrants caged until they supported UAE sparks internet fury

'Lock him up!' Boss who kept migrants caged until they supported UAE sparks internet fury

Infuriated internet users have demanded the arrest of an Emirati man who kept Indian migrants in a bird cage to force them into supporting the United Arab Emirates (UAE) football team.

Mounting calls to punish the impudent employer flooded social after a video of him encaging several Indian workers emerged online.

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The UAE national, wearing a traditional white Arab garment, was shown sitting next to a large bird cage containing eight male migrants inside. The man, who was holding a stick, threatened to keep them locked up until they expressed support for the UAE team.

Which team are you supporting?” the boss asked in an apparent reference to the Asian Cup clash between UAE and India, which took place last week. “India!” the workers responded.

The Arab employer, who was not satisfied with the reply, explained that they should cheer for the Arab squad while living and working in the UAE.

After proclaiming their support to the UAE football team the migrants were released from improvised confinement, triggering the social media outburst.

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Despite explaining that the video was a mere joke, the man was accused of brutality and discrimination, with multiple internet users finding arrest to be a suitable punishment for the his action, which were deemed humiliating.

Even if he was joking, and it is obvious that he is, this is a tasteless joke. It belittles human rights and encourages ill treatment and superiority. I hope the joke turns on him and he gets prosecuted,” one user wrote on Twitter.

[The man] said it was a joke, but this is NOT funny. Such treatment is facilitated by the abusive kafala system which entrenches discriminatory attitudes. This should STOP!” another user tweeted.

Over 2.4 million migrants have been working in Middle East’s Gulf region under the kafala system which gives employers excessive power over workers. The strict regulations are often compared to bonded labor and don’t allow migrants to leave or change employers without consent.