A prominent Qatari doctor and gay rights activist told the newspaper:GuardianBritish, gay Qataris have been promised safety from physical torture, in exchange for the help of the security authorities in tracking down other LGBT+ people in the country.
The doctor, Nasser Mohammed, who lives in the United States but maintains contacts with dozens of gay Qataris, explained that some of the “secret networks” of the LGBT community had been hacked after arrests by the Preventive Security Department in Qatar.
“A lot of Qatari gays don’t know each other,” Mohammed said. “It’s safer for them because when the authorities find one of them, they diligently try to expose the whole network.”
And he added, “Some of the gays who were arrested were subjected to physical abuse before they were recruited as agents.”
He added, “There are now clients in the LGBT community who were promised safety from physical torture in return for working in the Preventive Security Department and helping find LGBT groups.”
Mohammed warned that gay foreign fans in Qatar will not be persecuted while they are in the country to attend matches in the World Cup.
However, the Qatari doctor warned that local LGBTQ+ members face a very different reality, adding: “They live in the shadows, subjected to state-sponsored physical and mental abuse.”
Human Rights Watch reported last month that the Preventive Security Forces in Qatar had arbitrarily arrested many lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people and subjected them to ill-treatment while in detention.
Human Rights Watch documented six cases of severe and repeated beatings and five cases of sexual harassment during their detention in police stations between 2019 and 2022.
Rasha Younes, senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, told the Guardian that some of the cases were more shocking, explaining: “There was a story about a trans woman who was held in solitary confinement for two months underground, and lost her job as a result of her arrest and her inability to notify her employer of her absence.” “.
“They shaved her long hair while in detention, beat her so badly that she bled, and denied her medical care,” she added.
The Guardian newspaper tried to obtain comment from the Qatari government regarding the allegations of Doctor Nasser Muhammad and Human Rights Watch, but was unable to do so.
A Qatari official had previously said that Human Rights Watch’s reports “contain categorically and unequivocally false information.”