The Qatar World Cup is just 26 days away


Leading LGBTQIA rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has been arrested in Qatar after staging the first-ever LGBTQIA protest in any gulf state. This morning, the Peter Tatchell Foundation announced via Twitter that Peter was protesting, stating “The first ever #LGBT+ protest is underway in #Qatar. @PeterTatchell is outside The National Museum in #Doha. The World Cup hosts are homophobic.”

The World Cup is just 26 days away. Though hosting one of the biggest events in the sporting calendar, Qatar represses the freedom of its LGBTQIA citizens, with same-sex sexual activity prohibited under the Penal Code 2004. Punishments include imprisonment for between one and five years, but Qatar also runs Sharia Courts where it is conceivable that Muslim men could face the death penalty for same-sex sexual activity. This includes death by stoning.

Peter’s current whereabouts are unknown. Staging a one-man protest, he was holding a placard in support of Qatari LGBTQIA people living under one of the most repressive regimes in the world.

Speaking from Qatar shortly before his protest, he stated: “There can be no normal sporting relations with an abnormal regime like Qatar. It is a homophobic, sexist and racist dictatorship. Qatar cannot be allowed to sportswash its reputation. It is using the World Cup to enhance its international image. We must ensure that the tyrant regime in Doha does not score a PR victory.

“I did this protest to shine a light on Qatar’s human rights abuses against LGBT+ people, women, migrant workers and liberal Qataris. I am supporting their brave battle against tyranny. LGBT+ Qataris face police harassment, online entrapment, ‘honour’ killing, arrest, three years jail and potentially the death penalty. Qatar has secret gay conversion centres where LGBT+ people can be detained and subjected to abusive attempts to turn them straight.

“Women must get permission from a male guardian to marry, work in many government jobs and to study and travel abroad. Over 6,500 migrant workers have died since Qatar was given the right to host the World Cup. Many families are still waiting for compensation. Migrant workers complain of unpaid wages, overcrowded slum hostels and being refused permission to change jobs.”

Solidarity with Qatari LGBTQIA people. Power to Peter Tatchell.

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