HRW says LGBT abuse and arrests continue in Qatar ahead of World Cup

HRW says LGBT abuse and arrests continue in Qatar ahead of World Cup
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Qatari authorities have arbitrarily detained and mistreated LGBT people, in some cases as recently as last month, Human Rights Watch said on Monday. statement That’s less than four weeks before the Gulf country hosts the 2022 World Football Cup.

The New York-based group said it documented “six cases of violent and repeated beatings and five cases of sexual harassment” by Qatari authorities between 2019 and 2022. Human Rights Watch said it spoke to four trans women, one bisexual and one bisexual. gay man, all held in an underground prison in Doha.

“All were detained without charge, in one case in solitary confinement for two months, without access to legal counsel,” the report said. “No one has been recorded as being detained. These acts may constitute arbitrary detention under international human rights law.”

The Washington Post was unable to immediately confirm the accounts in the report. But she It raises concerns expressed by rights groups and football players about the safety of LGBT people attending next month’s World Cup.

2021 US Department of State human rights Qatar law prohibits consensual same-sex sexual acts between men, but does not explicitly prohibit them for women statement. Same-sex relationships between men can sentence them to up to seven years in prison.

The Qatari government and FIFA did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday evening. Qatari officials, however, disputed the allegations, saying the report contained “categorically and categorically inaccurate information” and did not go into further detail. Reuters.

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People interviewed by Human Rights Watch said they were slapped, kicked and punched while in custody. At least one woman said she lost consciousness. Members of Qatar’s Preventive Security Department, an agency under the country’s Ministry of Interior, forced all six people to sign pledges to “stop immoral activities”.

One of the trans women told Human Rights Watch that she was arrested on the street in Doha and accused of “impersonating women”. When she got into a police vehicle, authorities beat her, smeared her lips and nose in blood, and kicked her in the stomach. According to the report, one of the officials said, “You gays are immoral, we will be the same to you.”

“I was detained without charge for three weeks and officers sexually abused me repeatedly,” he said. “Part of the release requirement was to attend sessions with a psychologist who would ‘make me a man again’.”

The woman also reported seeing at least seven other LGBT people locked up in the same underground prison.

A second trans woman said she was arrested for wearing makeup. Authorities shaved her hair and asked her to swear an oath never to wear makeup again, provided she was released. The report stated that trans women should receive “conversion therapy” in state-sponsored centres.

Human Rights Watch said the arbitrary detention of interviewees was based on a law allowing temporary detention “if there are good grounds to believe the accused may have committed a crime”, including “violating public morals”.

Qatar has faced pressure from foreign officials, football players and FIFA for its attitude towards LGBT individuals ahead of the World Cup, which will start on November 1st. 20. Qatari officials said anyone can attend, regardless of background – but with caveats such as: respect the culture of the country.

Last month, attendees at a human rights convention hosted by the German football federation urged Qatar’s ambassador to Berlin to abolish homosexuality penalties in Qatar, Associated Press reported. Australian footballer Josh Cavallo, who was revealed to be gay last year, expression Concerns about the country’s homophobic laws. 16 LGBT groups in March called Qatar will repeal these laws, among other requests.

FIFA forced Doha to host an inclusive tournament and fans will be allowed to wave the rainbow-colored LGBT flag during matches after Qatar’s football association said it would abide by rules that promote tolerance and inclusion. reports in 2020. But in March, a Qatari official warned that law enforcement could take rainbow flags from fans to “protect” from being attacked. natives who may be angry with their supportAssociated Press reported.

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