27 C
Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Human Rights Watch has again raised strong allegations against Qatar

Shortly before the start of the World Cup, Qatar is again under criticism. Human Rights Watch accuses Gulf state police of abusing queer people.

LGBT people are slapped, punched and kicked, along with sexual harassment – all in an underground prison in Doha. These are serious allegations Human Rights Watch (HRW) is making against controversial hosts Qatar less than a month before the start of the World Cup. The accusations are also putting further pressure on the world governing body FIFA and its boss Gianni Infantino.

As Qatar prepares to host the World Cup (starting November 20), “security forces arrest and abuse LGBT people just for who they are,” said HRW expert Rasha Younes. The Qatari government should “stop these abuses immediately and FIFA should urge the Qatari government to ensure long-term reforms that protect LGBT people from discrimination and violence.”

In a report published on Monday, the human rights organization accuses the Qatari police of arbitrary arrests and mistreatment of queer people. Accordingly, between 2019 and 2022 “six cases of severe and repeated beatings and five cases of sexual harassment in police custody” were documented. The Qatari government has denied the allegations, according to the AFP news agency.

According to HRW, four transgender women, one bisexual woman and one gay man were interviewed. All said they were being held in an underground prison in the capital by Interior Ministry officials. There it came, among other things, “from slaps to kicks and punches until they bled,” wrote HRW.

Qatar: Recent case occurred in September

In one case, a person is said to have been in solitary confinement without legal counsel for two months. The individuals also said they were forced to sign statements pledging to “cease immoral activities.” The most recent case occurred in September. Those arrested were not charged, HRW reported.

A Qatari government official said the allegations were “clearly false”. Qatar “does not tolerate discrimination against anyone and our policies and procedures are underpinned by a commitment to upholding human rights for all.” There are no “conversion centers” but there is a rehabilitation clinic that supports people with behavioral disorders such as drug addiction, eating disorders and mood disorders.

Qatar: All fans are ‘welcome’

Homosexual acts are illegal in Qatar and can be punished with up to seven years in prison. The tournament organizers and FIFA had repeatedly emphasized that all fans were “welcome” to the World Cup in Qatar. However, the Emir of the Gulf state, Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, also recently said that respect is expected for “our culture”.

According to the Spiegel, Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) wants to address the safety of queer fans during the tournament on a trip to Qatar with DFB President Bernd Neuendorf before the World Cup. DFB captain Manuel Neuer will wear a “One Love” armband at the World Cup games, which is supposed to be a sign of diversity, among other things.


Latest news
Related news


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here