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Qatar: suppression of Peter Tatchell LGBT protest reminder of 'repressive climate'

‘It’s an outrage that consensual same-sex acts in Qatar are illegal and can lead to a jail sentence’ - Sacha Deshmukh

Commenting on reports that the human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has been prevented from staging a peaceful protest in Qatar against the country’s criminalisation of LGBTI people, Sacha Deshmukh, Amnesty International UK’s Chief Executive, said:

“Attempts to silence Peter Tatchell simply for drawing attention to Qatar’s outrageous criminalisation of LGBT people is a stark reminder of the repressive climate around freedom of expression in the country, including for those supporting the rights of LGBT people. 


“We recently heard remarks from 2022 World Cup CEO Nasser Al Khater about how Qatar would guarantee the safety of LGBT fans at the tournament, but the fact the Qatari authorities are even issuing ‘reassurances’ like this weeks before kick-off shows how much fear and trepidation there still is on this issue. 


“It’s an outrage that consensual same-sex acts in Qatar are illegal and can lead to a jail sentence. 

“With only weeks until kick-off, it looks as if the Qatari authorities will miss the immediate opportunity to make abolition of laws and regulations discriminating against people on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identities and expressions a key part of their World Cup legacy.

“We continue to call on the Qatari authorities to repeal the country’s appalling anti-LGBT laws, and in the meantime, they must ensure that all LGBT people - residents or visitors - have their rights fully protected, both now and after the World Cup. 


“We also still need a FIFA-backed compensation fund for Qatar’s abused migrant workers as well as the proper implementation of new labour laws.” 

For Nasser Al Khater’s recent remarks, see here

Last week, Amnesty published a major report showing how labour reforms in Qatar remain “unfinished business”. Amnesty said that though Qatar has made “important strides on labour rights over the past five years, thousands of workers remain stuck in a familiar cycle of exploitation and abuse due to legal loopholes and inadequate enforcement.


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