Awful: Qatar Airways Manager Jailed in Doha for “Being Gay”

by Anthony Losanno

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A Qatar Airways manager was arrested in Doha during a sting operation where he replied to a fake message on the gay dating app, Grindr. The man has been in jail since February 4th and his family fears that he is being tortured.

The Sun reports that Manuel Guerrero Aviña is a British and Mexican national. The 44-year-old man moved to Doha last year to become the Head of Product Development and Service Design at Qatar Airways. His career has been with various airlines including Lufthansa and British Airways.

Manuel’s brother, Enrique, spoke to the press and told them that his sibling was imprisoned for “being gay” and that he was being tortured and denied antiretroviral medicines for his HIV.

He detailed the ordeal and how the situation was made even worse due to alleged police actions:

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. 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. During the arrest 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.”

While this must be terrifying, there is a general health concern here if he is being denied his medication. His brother continued:

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.”

This is an awful situation and I feel terribly for this poor man. People often ask me if I have been to the Middle East and I generally answer with a short “no.” If I decide to expand upon my answer, I explain that draconian laws in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and elsewhere do not offer protections for LGBTQ+ individuals. I’ve been married for decades and am not looking for dates or hookups, but I have genuine concerns around how my husband and I will be perceived and if someone wants to take issue with us what that could mean. As much as I want to try Emirates and Qatar Airways, I do not want to go places where I am a second class citizen and could face legal issues for being gay.

Anthony’s Take: Being baited on Grindr is bad enough, but the police then allegedly planting drugs on him, denying him his medication, and keeping him jailed is cruel and inhumane. Hopefully, either the British or Mexican consulate will be able to assist here.

(Featured Image Credit: Radoslaw Prekurat.)

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Alexandre February 29, 2024 - 12:50 pm

QR has one of the top 3 Business Class hard and soft product, it’s a fact.

The State of Qatar is yet playing a very ambiguous game: massively lobbying major Out Gay Av-Geeks western influencers ; while sometimes jailing or intimidating gay people there.

It’s the same ambiguity which consists of funding Hamas and hosting its leaders on its sole ; while making itself vital for the Israeli hostages release, as well as for the US-Taliban negociations.

A fundamentaly pernicious State with an immense Soft Power. Why couldn’t they easily corrupt gay prominent AvGeek influencers to buy their silence with free/huge discounted J tickets when they officially corrupted -with crystal clear evidences- many UE parliament members?

As a French proud gay, I’ll definitely think twice before buying again a QR ticket.

There is a critical moment when one should value its core values with the Q-Suite appeal.

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Anthony Losanno February 29, 2024 - 3:39 pm

I put my $ where my mouth is and won’t fly or visit the Middle East. It’s not worth the potential issues and I also want to spend my hard-earned dollars where I’m seen as a whole person.

ken March 1, 2024 - 8:53 am

well, i didn’t know about your blog until now and I am a fan now. Most gay bloggers go and actively advertise QR EK EY products, well simply because they want the money: from blog visitors etc. I didn’t think about it until this post and replies

June February 29, 2024 - 1:07 pm

Yet so many gay bloggers promote Qatar Airways flights, hotels in Doha, etc etc. Why is that?

Manveer February 29, 2024 - 1:32 pm

I am a proud hetrosexual and I can’t imagine homosexual lifestyle. it’s very disgusting but I wish no harm what soever for homosexuals

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Anthony Losanno February 29, 2024 - 3:35 pm

I rarely censor comments as everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but your views are bigoted and outdated. I don’t live a lifestyle. I am gay. I have a husband and we have been together almost 23 years. We face the same challenges as heterosexual couples: mortgages, health, families, etc. as well as a host of issues that you will never face from people like you who consider my life “disgusting.” Thank you for not wishing harm on homosexuals, but you might want to take a long look in the mirror as this is your issue and not mine. I’ll continue living life, traveling, and experiencing a lot of what the world has to offer.

Christian February 29, 2024 - 3:08 pm

I’m frankly surprised that the guy would move to Doha considering the lack of human rights for, well, anyone. I’m straight and married but I think that this exemplifies why tourists should avoid the Middle East since you can be imprisoned for doing something that doesn’t harm anyone and involves only consenting adults.

Props to you for putting your money where your mouth is and avoiding countries that would – only somewhat metaphorically – burn you at the stake. I find it rather tasteless and hypocritical to read how some travel bloggers adored ABC airline based in the area and will cheerfully visit countries where they could just as easily be in a secret prison for nothing more than their sexual orientation.

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Anthony Losanno February 29, 2024 - 3:32 pm

I agree with you

Lars March 1, 2024 - 8:52 am

File this under “Effed around and found out.”

This guy knew exactly what he was getting into when he took a high-paying job with QR. He decided it was worth the risk, and apparently later decided he could break the laws of Qatar undetected. He knowingly and recklessly took a risk, and it blew up in his face.

There’s always a lot of gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands from the collective “west” over these situations, but at the end of the day independent countries get to have their own laws which are reflective of the values and culture of said country’s people. Of course, the very idea of national sovereignty is lost on most westerners these days, which probably explains some of the hysterics that we tend to see about this kind of thing.

Losanno has it figured out. Know the laws, and vote with your feet/dollars.


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