Brit BA worker, 44, ‘being tortured in Qatar jail’ after being caught in Grindr sting by brutal morality police

Brit BA worker, 44, ‘being tortured in Qatar jail’ after being caught in Grindr sting by brutal morality police
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A BRITISH man is allegedly being tortured in a prison in Qatar after being arrested in a twisted police sting.

Former British Airways manager Manuel Guerrero’s family claim he is being tortured in jail after being held for responding to a fake message on gay dating app Grindr.

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Manuel Guerrero is allegedly being tortured in a Qatari prison[/caption]

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be publish

Qatar’s human rights and migrants’ rights record was at the centre of controversy over its hosting of the last World Cup (file image)[/caption]

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Manuel’s brother Enrique (pictured) claimed last night his sibling was in prison for “being gay”[/caption]

The 44-year-old airline worker has been behind bars since February 4 but his plight has only emerged in the last few days following a campaign by his relatives to get him released.

The Foreign Office confirmed today it was providing consular assistance and helping Manuel’s family along with Mexican diplomats, as Manuel has dual British and Mexican nationality.

UK diplomats are the ones dealing with officials in Qatar as Manuel registered as a British national there when he moved to the Middle East for work.

Manuel’s brother Enrique claimed last night his sibling was in prison for “being gay” and claimed he was being tortured by being denied antiretroviral medicines for his HIV and had been forced to witness prisoner whippings.

He said: “Qatar police used a false Grindr profile to contact Manuel and invite him to participate in a meeting with other people from the LGBT community in the city of Doha.

“Manuel was supposed to meet a person he thought he had arranged an appointment with on the night of February 4 but instead encountered police officers who were waiting to arrest him arbitrarily.”

Enrique, through a social media campaign QatarFreeManuel which he is fronting, added: “During the arrest police planted a quarter of a gram of methamphetamine on him to incriminate him for the crime of drug possession and as of today he remains unjustly imprisoned.”

Manuel’s family say he is due to learn in court next month whether he will be expelled from Qatar or face trial.

They fear a trial, without proper treatment for his HIV, would leave him with a death sentence hanging over his head.

His brother Enrique said: “Our fight is going to continue until Manuel is released.


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“He’s been deprived of antiretroviral medicine he needs for his HIV for nearly a month now and that in itself is an act of torture which is being committed by the state of Qatar and is putting his health and life at risk.

“It’s not something that’s easy to remedy now and would require specialist analysis.”

He added in a Mexican TV interview: “Qatar penalises homosexuality and any issues pertaining to sexual diversity but that’s what Qatar believes because human rights supersede their homophobic laws.

“Sexual orientation, sexual diversity is a human right, not a crime.”

Claiming his brother had also been “psychologically tortured” as part of a drive by authorities in Qatar to get information out of him about other members of the LGBT community, Enrique said: “Qatar did not inform Britain and Mexico about the arrest.

“It was thanks to us pressuring consular officials because we couldn’t locate Manuel that they began looking for him.

“We didn’t find out for three days where he was but he spent 23 days without an interpreter and everything is in Arabic and he’s spent 23 days without a lawyer or anyone telling him why he’d been arrested.

“He moved to Qatar for work reasons. In Qatar homosexuality is banned but that doesn’t mean those laws are fair or correct. We’re talking at the end of the day about a human right, not a crime.

“On March 13 he has a court hearing where public prosecutors can decide whether to expel him or put him on trial.

“Sending the case to trial would imply a process of months which without adequate medical treatment would condemn him to death.

“It’s very serious what’s happening under an act of torture.”

In hard-hitting criticism of Manuel’s treatment, campaigners fighting to get him freed from “solitary confinement” said: “From the moment of his arrest, he has been the victim of cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment as well of act of psychological torture.

Qatar’s brutal laws

QATAR’S human rights and migrants’ rights record was at the centre of controversy over its hosting of the last World Cup.

Boozing, swearing, taking photos and even having sex could land visitors and residents jail sentences thanks to “vague” and confusing laws in the Muslim Gulf State.

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Here are some of the strictest sentences in Qatar:

  • Crimes such as murder carry possible death sentence
  • Same-sex consensual sexual acts is punishable by up to 7 years
  • Visitors can face six months in jail if they are caught drinking
  • People face up to five years for spreading “rumours”

“Authorities tried to force him to identify in his telephone contacts other members of the LGBT community as well as forcing him to witness the suffering of other detainees while they were whipped.

“He has been threatened, isolated, deprived of food and sufficient water because of his sexual orientation and health condition.

“He has been denied the right to a lawyer and has been forced to sign documents in Arabic without a translator to assist him.

“Even worse, he has been been prevented access to antiretroviral medicines he needs to be able to live with HIV, which constitutes an act of torture and puts his life at risk.”

Mexican diplomats say they are aware of Manuel’s plight and are assisting UK authorities and his family but say British diplomats are taking the lead.

The Mexican Embassy in Qatar insisted, referring to Manuel by his full name: “With regards to the case of Manuel Guerrero Avina who has Mexican and British nationality and is currently under arrest in Doha, the Mexican Embassy in Qatar confirms it has been following developments since it was informed about the detention.

“It has been in constant contact with his relatives and it has confirmed Manuel has legal representation.

“Given the arrested man has registered his residence in Qatar as a British national, the consulate of that country in Doha has been the entity recognised by the authorities in Qatar to carry out the relevant consular activities on his behalf.

“The Mexican Embassy will continue to follow the case along with the British Embassy in Doha, and will remain in contact with Manuel’s family.”

A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed this afternoon: “We are providing consular assistance to a British man who is detained in Qatar and are supporting his family.”

Manuel moved to Qatar for work and announced on social media nine months ago he was starting a new job as Acting Head of Product Development and Service Design at Qatar Airways.

He describes himself professionally as a British and Mexican passport holder with a strong understanding of the airline business and “18 years of experience” in different airlines and a degree in business management.

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He spent nearly 10 years working for British Airways, joining the airline as an air steward and progressing to managerial roles.

He has also worked for Lufthansa, American Airlines and Star Alliance.

He says of himself on LinkedIn: “I live and work by my personal motto: ‘Passion for Service’

“British and Mexican passport holder with a strong understanding of the airline business supported with 18 years of experience in a wide variety of roles in different airlines and a degree in business management.

“I am a strong team player, able to cooperate and work well with peers and senior managers alike to achieve common objectives.

“Self-motivated and enthusiastic individual with strong communication skills.”

The UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has been approached for a comment.

Qatar’s human rights and migrants’ rights record was at the centre of controversy over its hosting of the last World Cup.

Anyone found participating in same-sex sexual activity can be punished by up to seven years in prison in Qatar.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino lashed out at Qatar’s critics in a bizarre speech before the start of the World Cup in November 2022.

He said in a bizarre press conference: “‘Today I have strong feelings,’ he said. ‘Today I feel Qatari. Today I feel Arab. Today I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel disabled. Today I feel a migrant worker.

“And I feel this because what I have seen and it brings me back to my personal story. I’m a son of migrant workers.”

Nicholas McGeechan, director of human rights research group Fair Square described his comments at the time as “absolute crass” and suggested he was getting his talking points direct from the Qatari authorities.

AFP

Qatari riot police take part in a military parade during the Gulf emirate’s National Day celebrations in Doha[/caption]

AP

Qatari police patrol on horseback outside of the Lusail Stadium during the Qatari World Cup[/caption]

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