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Gay man ‘hunted’ by Qatar Police and gang-raped in hotel room ahead of World Cup

The World Cup will start in just two weeks' time, despite grave concerns over Qatar's record on human rights, with the Middle East country continuing to persecute the LGBT+ community

A gay man who has previously living in Qatar has claimed he was ‘hunted’ by the country’s police force before being gang-raped in a hotel room.

Qatar will controversially host the upcoming World Cup, despite its appalling record on human rights. One of the biggest concerns about the Middle East country is its laws which outlaw homosexuality, with LGBT+ people in the country at risk of imprisonment or even the death penalty.

While Nasser Al Khater, who is in charge of delivering the tournament, has frequently insisted that “everyone is welcome” in Qatar, those claims have been challenged. LGBT+ people who have lived in Qatar have revealed the true horror of the prejudice the community faces in the country.

One gay man from the Philippines who worked in in Qatar as an office assistant, has told how he was lured to a hotel and gang-raped by police. The man, ‘Ali’, told the i that he received a message on a gay dating app from a man claiming to be a Turkish worker.

They offered Ali a substantial sum of money to come to his hotel room, but when he arrived, he was confronted by six men identifying themselves as Qatari police. The police officers then proceeded to brutally attack Ali as the Turkish man watched on.

“I really wanted to jump [out of] the window but I can’t, it’s too high and I’m already cornered inside the room. They catch me and threw me on the bed. They started to rape me,” he said.

Qatar will host the World Cup this winter despite numerous human rights concerns
Qatar will host the World Cup this winter despite numerous human rights concerns

As soon as one policeman finished assaulting him, he claims another started. The police officers then searched his bag, accusing him of being a prostitute, before another gay man arrived after also being lured to a hotel.

The duo were then taken to a police station where they were fined 300 Qatari Rial, around £74. Ali was kept in jail that night, before the police took him to a deportation centre and cancelled his visa.

“I slept in the jail for one night and when I woke up, they took me to the deportation centre. There I waited for two days to receive my passport and ticket to go back to the Philippines. They cancelled all my papers,” he said.

According to the report, several other gay men have claimed they were ‘hunted’ in the same way by Qatar’s police force. Despite Al Khater’s claims that the country is safe, LGBT+ fan groups have urged supporters from the community not to travel.

“A founding principle of our group is that we should be able to follow our team as our authentic selves wherever we play in the world without fear for our safety and with freedom from persecution,” a number of those groups, including Three Lions Pride, said in a statement in April.

“In our conversations with both FIFA and the SC, there has been little effort from organisers to proactively engage around the concerns fans and rights groups have raised. Instead, we have often heard the well drummed PR line that ‘this is a World Cup for all’.

Three Lions Pride have slammed the lack of assurances that LGBT+ people will be safe in Qatar
Three Lions Pride have slammed the lack of assurances that LGBT+ people will be safe in Qatar

“Human rights deserve detail not deflection, but all we have unfortunately seen from those in charge is slogans not safety, gaslighting not guarantees, avoidance not action. Simply put, this is not good enough.

“We cannot, in good faith, tell our members, LGBT+ people or allies that this is a World Cup for all. We have seen no details about how our trans+ members will be treated with respect through security checks. We have heard no specifics on guarantees that LGBT+ people (fans or residents) will not be arrested for their existence.”

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