Thursday September 28, 2023

World Cup Puts Qatar’s Human Rights Abuses in Spotlight

  • Security forces in Qatar reportedly arbitrarily arrested and abused LGBT Qataris as recently as last month.
  • The tournament runs from Nov. 20 to Dec. 18.
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The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is less than four weeks out, and the country’s alleged human rights abuses remain at the forefront of the discussion.

On Monday, Human Rights Watch reported that as recently as last month, security forces in the country — where homosexuality is illegal — arbitrarily arrested and abused Qataris in the LGBT community, according to Reuters. Six reported being detained between 2019 and 2022.

A Qatari official claimed that the allegations “contain information that is categorically and unequivocally false.”

Organizers of the tournament, which runs from Nov. 20 to Dec. 18, have retained their stance that everyone is welcome, though they also warned against public displays of affection. 

The country expects 1.2 million foreign visitors during the World Cup. 

Protest Plans

FIFA prohibits teams from wearing their own armband designs at the World Cup, but England will reportedly wear the “OneLove” anti-discrimination armband regardless of the rules and is ready to face punishment for doing so.

Manufacturer Hummel has designed Denmark’s kits with the logos barely visible, protesting Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers who have built the World Cup stadiums, including an all-black kit, which signifies the “color of mourning.” 

  • Previous reports claimed that more than 6,000 people have died building infrastructure for the tournament. 
  • FIFA has been criticized for failing to create a fund for the workers despite backing from the American, French, and English football associations and support from World Cup sponsors including Adidas.

Qatar is also receiving criticism for requiring visitors to download apps that could be considered spyware.

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