Several reports of LGBTQ+ people being arrested or physically abused in Qatar have emerged during the last month. While Qatar’s government has not publicly confirmed the safety of LGBTQ+ fans, it has taken steps to end racial discrimination and to improve its employment practices. It has also reportedly relaxed its anti-LGBT laws and allowed public displays of affection. However, as the Fifa World Cup approaches, concerns remain about whether Qatar has the ability to protect LGBTQ+ supporters and athletes.
Human Rights Watch has received reports of detentions of LGBTQ+ people in Morocco, Nepal, the Philippines, and Qatar. The organization interviewed six people in Qatar and called on the government to end ill-treatment of LGBT people. It also called on Qatar to stop government-sponsored conversion practices.
Qatar has been under pressure from FIFA and foreign officials regarding its treatment of LGBT people. FIFA has warned against fake World Cup merchandise and has issued “friendly reminder” texts to Qatari phone numbers. FIFA has also taken steps to investigate suspected “private corruption” and “influence peddling”. The organization has also criticized Qatar for its “homophobic” laws and its treatment of workers.
According to the Qatar Ministry of Interior, three people have been arrested for reselling tickets for the FIFA World Cup. The Ministry of Interior said that the suspects were of different nationalities, but did not reveal their names. They are being investigated by prosecutors and are set to face criminal proceedings. A blurry image of the three men is posted on the Ministry of Interior’s social media account.
According to Qatar’s Penal Code, extramarital sex is punishable by fines. Non-Qatari women are required to cover their midriff and knees, while sleeveless tank tops are not permitted. It is also illegal to swear in public. Those found guilty could face fines of up to $250,000.
Qatar’s human rights record has been criticized, and the FIFA World Cup has sparked controversy over how the country will treat LGBTQ+ people. A number of soccer stars have warned about the rights of fans travelling to Qatar for the event. However, the Qatari government has urged fans to respect Qatari laws. It has also announced that it will deploy “undercover spies” to mingle with fans and make sure they are not breaking any rules.
Human Rights Watch has called on Qatar to end its arbitrary arrests of LGBTQ+ people and to end impunity for violence against LGBT people. It has interviewed six people in Qatar, including a gay man and four transgender women. It has also called on Qatar to end its racial discrimination and to end its “homophobic” laws.
In the build-up to the World Cup, women’s rights have been raised. According to the Qatar World Cup website, visitors can wear clothing of their choice, but the website does not state that women are permitted to wear swimwear in hotels. However, swimwear is allowed at hotel beaches and in hotel pools.
Earlier this year, a perfume factory with World Cup branding was raided. Authorities seized several phones and laptops, and unnamed suspects confessed to the charges when presented with evidence. The Ministry of Interior stated that the men were of different nationalities, and were being investigated by prosecutors.