Interview with a Gay Who Was Arrested in Qatar
GayMiddleEast.com, July 11, 2003
It is a rare privilege when GayMiddleEast.com manages to obtain information
regarding gay life inside the Emirate of Qatar. Just a few days ago,
GayMiddleEast.com was able to get this rare interview from a gay man that had
been living and working in Qatar for a number of years, but, towards the end
of his stay there found himself in jail. He is sure that he was jailed for
being gay. Although we have no reason to doubt the credibility of the
information sent to us by this man, we also must bring our readers attention
that we have no way to check if his claims are indeed true. GayMiddleEast.com
contacted both the embassy of the Emirate of Qatar in Germany and contacted
their Foreign Ministry but they have not replied to any of our inquiries. If
what the writer of this article claims is actually true, it seems that not
only are gays being harassed by the Egyptian authorities, but also by those in
the Emirate of Qatar, albeit in a more “elegant” fashion.
Q : Please tell us your story.
In Sep, 2000 I was attracted by an ad in BIG COMPANY page for a job
interview. I applied and they invited me. I got the place and was very happy
to leave my ex employer after 11 years of service for a new challenge. I was
fed up with the loneliness here in my country and wanted to change my life.
So, they sent me to Qatar to open an office, to be a manager, to train the
future personnel and everybody else. Not very easy task but I did it
successfully, the Qatar office was announced to be on of the best offices.
When the locals realized that it is going very well, actually exceeding the
expectation, they wanted to put an Arab on the manager’s position. Ok, he
was a GM, who did not know anything about the business after the second year I
decided to go back home to my country as I had done my mission in Qatar, but
they didn’t let me go easily.
During the process of discussions and negotiations I met a young handsome
local who started to visit my home regularly and we had fantastic time
together till he offered me to smoke hash. I did not accept in the first time
but he insisted and said he wanted to have happy time with me. When he came
next time, he had a friend with him, another gorgeous Arab.
They wanted whisky and took out hand made cigarette and gave it to me. I
did not know what to do with it and they were laughing. So they started it and
gave it again to me. The other guy went to the toilet. After 5 minutes a crowd
of 25 Arabs invaded my home, arrested me and took me to the police station,
after that to jail. I spent 4 months in an Qatari Jail and was thinking I was
going to die there. No one new where I was, I was not allowed to call anybody,
no lawyer, no embassy. Because my friends used to call me almost everyday,
waiting for me to come back to my country, they started to get worried and
trough the Foreign Ministry advised the nearest to Qatar embassy in Kuwait.
The ambassador himself came to Qatar, found me in Jail and took me out on
bail. But I still had to go to the Court for punishment. I had no money no
home anymore in Qatar. A family took me to live with them for 2 more months.
Before Xmas 2002 the judge pronounced the punishment of 50,000 QAR + 40,000
QAR I had to pay to a local lawyer, who was finally on of them. I sold
everything in Qatar, my car, my furniture, transferred all the savings from
Finland and was happy to buy my freedom for about 30,000 euro.
Q : Do you think that you were arrested because you
Nobody never during the process mentioned anything about gay, but I am sure
it was the main reason. However, the final accusation of the judge was for
smoking hash. Planting drugs in someone’s possession, then appearing to
discover them is a simple tactic for police in this country when they don’t
have any official reason for accusation. It is very frequently used.
Q : This guy that you said he “started to visit my
home regularly and we had fantastic time together” knew about you been gay?
Did you have something with him?
Of course, the guy wanted to have sex with me and this was the reason we
first met, but he was doing the sex with me by the police order, I don’t
think he was a gay himself. It was interesting think, he did not speak English
at all, but the sms he sent me 10 times a day were in perfect English. Later a
police told me that he sent all the sms.
Q : Did you have sex with this guy ?
We had really good mutual sex many times and in the sms he said he loved me
and that’s why he wanted me to smoke hash with him in order to be very
Q : In Qatar there is a law against homosexual sex,
If they want to they could arrest you for that, no?
Yes, they could do it for the reason I was gay, but they are very much
concerned about Human rights (concerned about criticism from Human Rights
Organizations and countries).
Q : What happen to you in the Qatari jail?
I don’t want to remember this time, it was the nightmare of my life. But
I will tell you shortly: First they put me in a sanitary cell for 5 days,
after that with 20 others in the same room. They were real criminals and I was
afraid of them. The first hearing trail was a “bad joke”, the judge did
not speak English. The second one after a month was even worse. After that I
stopped eating, as a protest and they put me again in a sanitary cell for 10
days. My cell neighbor was a local Qatari who told me that he had AIDS and he
was in jail for 4 years or so.
Q : What happen to those two “friends” that was
in your place?
The guy who initially was my “friend” planned all this. He misused my
sexual orientation. He was the one who started asking me about hash. Later I
got to know that the police was all the time behind him, dictating his
actions, so it was because of my gay orientation.
The second guy was a policeman too. He called the police from the toilet
when it was the right moment.
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