Gay Man Jailed and Denied HIV Medication in Qatar


Manuel Guerrero Aviña has been jailed in Qatar for being gay (Photos: #QatarMustFreeManuel / X)

A gay British-Mexican, allegedly entrapped by police through Grindr, is being held in prison in Qatar and denied access to his HIV medication.

Manuel Guerrero Aviña was arrested in the capital Doha by local police after being lured to a meeting on 4 February and continues to languish in jail because of his sexuality.

According to AllOut, the 44-year-old has been deprived of food and water, forced to sign documents in Arabic that he doesn’t understand, and is being compelled to identify other members of the LGBT+ community.

Manuel, who is a former British Airways manager, has also allegedly been denied access to his ARV medication which, as a man living with HIV, puts his health and life at risk.

Qatar’s Penal Code punishes same-sex relations with up to seven years in prison. Muslims convicted of homosexuality in sharia courts can be sentenced to death by stoning, although it’s thought to be rarely enforced.

In 2022, Human Rights Watch reported several horrific incidents in which security police in Qatar arrested and ill-treated LGBT people ahead of the nation’s controversial hosting of the World Cup that year.

Manuel’s brother, Enrique, is leading a social media campaign to have him released. He, along with other family members and supporters, held a protest outside the British embassy in Mexico on Monday, calling for both governments to act to help free his brother.

Holding placards and rainbow flags, they chanted “Free Manuel” and “Being gay is not a crime.”

“The Mexican State and the British State must take action on the matter. They are torturing a Mexican citizen and a British citizen in their faces. We want Manuel free and we want him safe and sound,” Enrique told the media, reports Forbes Mexico.

The UK’s Foreign Office has confirmed that it’s aware of Manuel’s detention and is providing consular assistance and support to his family.

An online petition has been launched demanding Manuel’s release, which can be found here.

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