Peter Tatchell detained in Moscow- Gay activist held after one-man protest against …
Peter Tatchell Foundation

Peter Tatchell, prominent human rights campaigner and former leading member of the UK’s Gay Liberation Front, has confirmed he has been freed by police in Qatar after previously being “seized” for protesting the “homophobic” country.

Tatchell was photographed standing outside the National Museum in the capital of Qatar on Tuesday, holding up a sign which stated Qatar “arrests, jails and subjects LGBTs to ‘conversion’” in the first LGBT+ protest in the Gulf state.

Video footage was later shared by the Peter Tatchell Foundation of the campaigner being approached by security services, claiming he had been “seized” with his whereabouts unknown.

Under Qatar’s Penal Code of 2004, “sodomy” and homosexual activity is illegal, with up to seven years’ imprisonment imposed on anyone found to have broken the law.

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It was in 2010 that the country was announced by Fifa as being the hosts of the 2022 World Cup, a controversial decision which prompted campaigners to highlight the country’s troubling record on LGBT+ rights and workers’ rights.

Once news surfaced of Tatchell’s interaction with security forces, those across the UK political spectrum praised the activist’s protest, and expressed concern over the decision taken by Qatari authorities:

Then, just after 1:30pm on Tuesday, Tatchell tweeted he had been released, sharing a video in which he thanked people for their messages of support.

He revealed he had staged the protest for 35 minutes before the authorities arrived, leading to him being arrested and detained for 49 minutes and “subjected to interrogation”.

He said: “The most important thing is, is this protest was to shine a light on the abuse of human rights in Qatar … Also, I sought to draw attention to the abuse of the rights of women and migrant workers as well.

“I stand in solidarity with those brave Qatari human rights defenders who cannot express their point of view because they fear arrest, jail and possibly even torture.

“I salute them. They are the real heroes.”

We must say your protest was pretty heroic too, Peter.

After all, Tatchell has long been vocal on Qatar hosting the World Cup, telling Indy100 back in 2018 back in 2018 that the country was a "rogue regime" and the decision to let the state host the contest this year as yet another "bad and dangerous decision" by Fifa.

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