Scroll To Top
News

Gay man ‘tortured’ in Qatar for his sexuality is sentenced: 'This is a breach of my human rights'

Manuel Guerrero Prisoner QATAR
Twitter/X @QatarFreeManuel; Shutterstock

Forty-four-year-old Manuel Guerrero Aviña was detained in February after being entrapped by law enforcement through a fake Grindr profile, his family says.

The gay British man who was arrested through a Grindr catfish in Qatar has been sentenced.

Forty-four-year-old Manuel Guerrero Aviña moved to Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal, seven years ago for his work. He was detained on February 4 after being entrapped by law enforcement through a fake Grindr profile, according to his family, and was held in jail for nearly two months.

During that time, Qatari authorities subjected Guerrero Aviña to secret nighttime interrogations where they pressured him to name other LGBTQ+ people he had relations with, his family claims. After learning of his HIV status, they allegedly locked him in solitary confinement and refused to administer his medication.

Guerrero Aviña's brother Enrique, who has vocally advocated for his brother's release since his arrest, previously told The Advocatethat Guerrero Aviña "has a lot of traumatic stress because of the torture he suffered." Guerrero Aviña went 38 days without a lawyer or translator while he was detained, according to his brother, and even after he was appointed council, Guerrero Aviña's attorney was not given access to his case files until over two months after his initial detention.

Guerrero Aviña was sentenced yesterday, receiving a suspended jail sentence of six months, a fine of 10,000 Qatari Riyals (about $2,750), and deportation. He said in a statement that "although I welcome the fact that I can leave the country, I still condemn the unfair trial I have been subjected to and the torture and ill treatment I endured during my preliminary detention."

“I, Manuel Guerrero Aviña, am deeply disappointed with yesterday’s unfair verdict, issued in spite of the violations of due process during my detention and trial, which included torture and mistreatment to pressure me into revealing the names of other gay partners and forcing me to use my fingerprint to sign multiple documents in Arabic without a translator, refusing me the right to have a lawyer or translator during the preliminary hearing, and keeping me in inhumane living conditions for 44 days," he said.

Amnesty International also condemned the ruling, with Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Aya Majzoub asserting “the Qatari authorities must overturn Mr Guerrero Aviña’s outrageous conviction and order his immediate release."

“Guerrero Aviña’s treatment in custody and his unfair trial was utterly horrific," Majzoub said. "Instead of convicting people after unfair proceedings, Qatar’s authorities must urgently end the discrimination and persecution of people based on their sexual orientation and gender identities and repeal all laws that discriminate against LGBTI people.”

As for his next steps, Guerrero Aviña said that "I want to appeal the verdict, and am taking expert advice on my options."

"The Qatari authorities have convicted me because I am gay, and this is a breach of my human rights," he continued. "I urge the UK and Mexican governments to raise concerns with the relevant Qatari authorities about the unfair trial and the violations of due process that I have experienced."

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Ryan Adamczeski

Ryan is a staff writer at The Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel "Someone Else's Stars," and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.
Ryan is a staff writer at The Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel "Someone Else's Stars," and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.