News (World)

British/Mexican man arrested for being gay in Qatar is being denied HIV medications

British/Mexican man arrested for being gay in Qatar is being denied HIV medications
Manuel Guerrero Photo: QatarMustFreeManuel committee

A dual Mexican and British citizen has been arrested and is being detained by Qatari authorities after he was entrapped in a Grindr sting, according to his family.

Manuel Guerrero, a 44-year-old Qatar Airways employee, has been jailed since February 4 after his arrest in the capital Doha.

Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar, where it can be punished with imprisonment. The Gulf state earns a dismal score of 7 out of 100 for LGBTQ+ rights in Equaldex’s international ranking.

According to his brother Enrique, Guerrero accuses the Qatari police of entrapment using a fake profile on Grindr.

Guerrero was lured to a location in Doha where he was told he would meet other gay men, he says. Instead, police were waiting to arrest him.

Guerrero also accuses Qatari authorities of planting a quarter gram of methamphetamine in his apartment at the time of his arrest, his family said.

Guerrero, who is HIV-positive, says he’s been deprived of HIV medications and subjected to “psychological torture.”

A committee formed to secure Guerrero’s release said in a statement that the British national “has been denied the right to a lawyer and has been forced to sign documents in Arabic without a translator to assist him.” They claim he’s been a victim of “cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment.”

Denial of Guerrero’s antiretroviral meds, they say, amounts to “an act of torture and puts his life at risk.”  

According to Enrique Guerrero, his brother has been forced to reveal other members of the LGBTQ+ community in Qatar to authorities, as well.

It’s unclear when embassy officials for the U.K. and Mexico were informed of Guerrero’s arrest. Unhappy with British officials’ progress in obtaining Guerrero’s release, his family is appealing to Mexico for assistance. But the Mexican Embassy in Doha said in a statement that Guerrero’s status as a registered British resident of Qatar meant U.K. diplomats were responsible for negotiations over his release.

Mexico’s foreign ministry pledged to “do everything within the power of the Mexican state to safeguard Manuel’s rights, his dignity, and his access to necessary health treatments.”

The British Foreign Office would only say in a statement, “We are providing consular assistance to a British man who is detained in Qatar and are supporting his family.”  

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