Manuel Guerreros Source: Instagram

Airline Manager Allegedly Jailed in Qatari For 'Being Gay,' According to Family

Emell Adolphus READ TIME: 2 MIN.

After David Beckham made such a big public display of support about hosting the World Cup in Qatar, a HIV+ British man's family says he is being held and tortured in the country after responding to a Grindr message.

As reported by The Mirror, British Airwaves manager Manuel Guerrero was arrested in an alleged police sting that involved a fake message request and the 44-year-old airline worker has been behind bars since February 4.

His family said they have gone public with his story with hopes to secure his release.

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

According to Manuel's brother Enrique, he believes his brother is in prison for "being gay" and is being denied his HIV antiretroviral medicine treatment.

"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," said Enrique. "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 also said, through the social media campaign QatarFreeManuel, that the arresting police "planted a quarter of a gram of methamphetamines on him to incriminate him for the crime of drug possession and as of today he remains unjustly imprisoned."

Manuel reportedly moved to Qatar for work a mere 9 months ago and announced via social media that he was starting a new job as Acting Head of Product Development and Service Design at Qatar Airways. Before that, he spent nearly 10 years working for British Airways.

Campaigners hoping to get Manuel freed called out his treatment in a statement.

"From the moment of his arrest, he has been the victim of cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment as well of act of psychological torture," they said. "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."

They added, "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."

by Emell Adolphus

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