Security forces in Qatar arbitrarily arrested and abused LGBT Qataris as just lately as final month, Human Rights Watch (HRW) mentioned on Monday, within the run-up to internet hosting soccer’s World Cup which has put a highlight on human rights points within the Gulf Arab state.
Homosexuality is against the law within the conservative Muslim nation, and a few soccer stars have raised considerations over the rights of followers travelling for the occasion, particularly LGBT+ people and girls, whom rights teams say Qatari legal guidelines discriminate in opposition to.
A Qatari official mentioned in a press release that HRW’s allegations “comprise info that’s categorically and unequivocally false,” with out specifying.
Organizers of the World Cup, which begins on Nov. 20 and is the primary held in a Middle Eastern nation, say that everybody, irrespective of their sexual orientation or background, is welcome, whereas additionally warning in opposition to public shows of affection.
“Freedom of expression and nondiscrimination primarily based on sexual orientation and gender identification ought to be assured, completely, for all residents of Qatar, not simply spectators going to Qatar for the World Cup,” HRW mentioned in a press release.
The group mentioned it had interviewed six LGBT Qataris, together with 4 transgender ladies, one bisexual lady and one homosexual man, who reported being detained between 2019 and 2022 and subjected to verbal and bodily abuse, together with kicking and punching.
They have been detained with out cost in an underground jail in Doha, HRW mentioned, and one particular person was held for 2 months in solitary confinement.
“All six mentioned that police compelled them to sign pledges indicating that they’d ‘stop immoral exercise,'” it mentioned, including that transgender ladies detainees have been mandated to attend conversion remedy periods at a government-sponsored clinic.
Qatar doesn’t “license or function ‘conversion centres,'” the Qatari official mentioned.
One of the transgender Qatari ladies interviewed by HRW informed Reuters on situation of anonymity that she was arrested a number of occasions, most just lately this summer season when she was held for a number of weeks.
Authorities had stopped her attributable to her look or for possessing make-up, the girl mentioned, including that she had been overwhelmed to the purpose of bleeding and had her head shaved.
The behaviour centre she was mandated to attend informed the girl she had a gender identification dysfunction and accused her of being transgender in the hunt for “sympathy from others.”
“The final thing I would like is sympathy, I simply need to be myself,” she mentioned.
(Reporting by Andrew Mills; enhancing by Clare Fallon)