Human Rights Watch: LGBT people randomly arrested and abused in Qatar.

According to a press release from Human Rights Watch, security forces in Qatar have been arbitrarily detaining and harming LGBT people for the past three years. There were at least six instances of “severe and repeated assaults” and five instances of sexual harassment between the years of 2019 and last month. After being detained in public “simply on the basis of their gender expression,” the individuals’ phones were illegally inspected, and screenshots of their private communications and data were stolen.”Abused in underground prison”

Abused in underground prison

Four trans women, a bisexual woman, and a gay male who were interviewed by Human Rights Watch claimed they were being imprisoned without charges in an underground jail in Doha, the capital. They were refused access to legal and medical assistance as well as contact with family members while being severely verbally and physically beaten, sometimes to the point of unconsciousness. Even for two months, one prisoner was kept in solitary confinement. Another said that police officers had constantly harassed him sexually.

The individuals had to sign a statement promising to quit engaging in “immoral behaviors,” like wearing makeup, in order to be freed. In a “mental health care center” that was owned by the government, the trans women were also obliged to participate in conversion therapy. One of them added, “They beat me every day and shaved my hair.” I’m still frightened to go out in public and have dreams about it.

World Cup

LGBT rights researcher: “As Qatar gets ready to host the FIFA World Cup, security personnel are detaining and just abusing LGBT persons for who they are, seemingly with the assumption that security forces’ abuses will go undiscovered and documented.” from Human Rights Watch, Rasha Younes. The group urges FIFA to insist on this and the authorities to put an end to it. “The whole world is looking.”

The claims have been refuted by a Qatari government spokesperson. He asserts that the information in the Human Rights Watch investigation “is completely and unequivocally incorrect.” Nothing else needs to be said.

Homosexuality is a criminal offense in Qatar, as is extramarital sex. Reports about sexual orientation and gender identity are censored in the media, according to Human Rights Watch. Since the announcement of Qatar as the host country of the World Cup, many football fans and players have been hesitant about the extent to which they are welcome in the country. However, the head of the tournament’s organizing committee said in an interview with CNN last year that “everyone is welcome as long as they play by the rules and respect the culture”. What exactly that means has not been explained.
Human Rights Watch wants Qatar to repeal laws on homosexuality and sex outside marriage and to guarantee freedom of expression for all citizens and protect them against discrimination. “And not just for spectators who go to Qatar for the World Cup.”

Human rights violations and sportwashing

The FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022 is a contentious event. First off, an FBI probe in the United States revealed that bribery was used to award Qatar the 2010 World Cup. Additionally, in recent years, at least 6,500 migrant laborers have died and human rights have been violated while building stadiums and other infrastructure for the tournament. According to a study by Amnesty International, they were forced to work in hazardous conditions and intense heat and were primarily from Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. According to the human rights organization, the government of Qatar has seldom ever carried out a thorough inquiry into the murders, and FIFA would have turned a blind eye.

Human rights organizations claim Qatar is guilty of sportwashing, which is when a major competition is used to obscure wrongdoing and human rights breaches while promoting a nation. Many people think that Qatar is an unacceptable host nation due to the death of the migrant workers as well as the ban on homosexuality. For instance, Human Rights Watch published a report a few weeks prior to the World Cup demonstrating that LGBT persons had been arbitrarily detained and mistreated in the nation over the previous three years without being charged.