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Conflicting Narratives About a British LGBTQ Activist in Qatar

Ouissal Harize Ouissal Harize
27th October 2022
Conflicting Narratives About a British LGBTQ Activist in Qatar
Peter Tatchell has been heavily criticized (Twitter)

News recently reported that the British LGBTQ rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, held a one-man protest outside the National Museum of Qatar. According to news articles, Tatchell held a placard that reads: “Qatar arrests, jails & subjects LGBTs to conversion,” with the hashtag “#QatarAntiGay.”

Tatchell had announced that he was arrested by the Qatari authorities because of the protest. The Qatari government officials said that claims of an arrest were “completely false.” The incident ignited an uproar online.

Was Peter Tatchell Arrested in Qatar?

Tatchell was not escorted to a police station, and he was not charged with anything. The activist later commented about the police questioning him to LBC stating that: “They were polite, they didn’t threaten me.” Tatchell adds, “It wasn’t a harsh interrogation under heavy lights or anything.”

Doha News also spoke to the activist shortly after he was approached by police officers, and confirmed he was not detained or arrested, but was questioned on the spot.

Reaction to Tatchell’s Claims of Being Arrested

Following news of Tatchell’s arrest, many people criticised the inaccuracy of media reports. 

Marc Owen Jones, an associate professor of Middle Eastern Studies at Hamad bin Khalifa University in Qatar, and author of “Digital Authoritarianism in the Middle East,” wrote a Twitter thread criticizing the media articles that reported misleading information about the incident. 

Jones criticized mainstream media for sharing false and misleading information regarding the incident and for the terminology that the media has used.

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The Emir of Qatar Slams Campaign Against the World Cup Host

Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani spoke up against the campaign that has been targeting Qatar. 

“We initially dealt with the matter in good faith, and even considered that some criticism was positive and useful, helping us to develop aspects of ours that need to be developed,” the Emir told Qatar’s legislative council. “But it soon became clear to us that the campaign continues, expands and includes fabrication and double standards, until it reached a level of ferocity that unfortunately made many question the real reasons and motives behind this campaign,” the Emir added. 

Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani previously asserted that there will be no discrimination against any group of people during the World Cup.

" We are opening our doors to the teams and the fans from all over the world to enjoy football and the World Cup atmosphere full of enthusiasm and without discrimination," said the Emir.


Misbar’s Sources

Al Jazeera


Doha News

Doha News



Marc Owen Jones