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Activist Peter Tatchell arrested in Qatar for protesting against anti-gay regime just weeks before World Cup

PETER Tatchell was arrested in Qatar while staging a one-man protest against Qatar’s treatment of gay people.

The activist was pictured holding a placard supporting Qatari people, just 26 days before the start of the football World Cup.

Peter Tatchell protesting in Qatar against the country’s treatment of LGBT+ people

The current whereabouts of Mr Tatchell are unknown.

Speaking from Qatar shortly before his protest, he said: “There can be no normal sporting relations with an abnormal regime like Qatar.

“It is a homophobic, sexist and racist dictatorship.

“Qatar cannot be allowed to sportswash its reputation. It is using the World Cup to enhance its international image.

“I did this protest to shine a light on Qatar’s human rights abuses against LGBT+ people, women, migrant workers and liberal Qataris. I am supporting their brave battle against tyranny.”

England manager Gareth Southgate said earlier this year that it’s “horrible” that female and gay England fans fear travelling to the World Cup.

Over the summer World Cup chiefs said they have been given assurances that gay fans will not be persecuted when they visit the country in November.

A Uefa working party, including FA chief executive Mark Bullingham, travelled to Doha for a third scoping visit.

There have been suggestions that hotels might prevent gay couples from sharing rooms but Uefa said: “LGBTQI+ rights were discussed at length.

“Assurances were provided regarding fans being safely welcomed with rainbow flags, in line with previous statements welcoming everyone to Qatar and ensuring local culture and customs are respected. 

Uefa added that meetings had been held with a number of agencies including Qatar’s ruling Supreme Committee and the country’s FA as well as human rights organisations.

Migrant workers told the Uefa group that they still needed additional legal support, shelters for abused workers and translation services to fill in official forms and access to information on rights.

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