World Cup 2022: ‘I don’t want to worry about being killed’

The focus is on human rights in Qatar as it prepares to host football’s World Cup, starting on Sunday. Two people tell us how the country’s strict religious laws and customs have affected their lives.

Aziz moves around nervously as we chat online. He wanted to speak out, but it is clear this is taking a huge amount of courage, and he remains solemn throughout our conversation.

“I would like my existence not to be illegal in my country,” he says, in a low voice from Qatar’s capital Doha. “I would like reforms that would say I can be gay and not worry about being killed.”

Aziz says his day-to-day anxiety comes from having to constantly watch what he says in case the wrong word to the wrong person leads to arrest or an attack for being gay.

“The difference between being in Qatar and outside Qatar, is that outside, the law is on your side,” he says.

“If somebody attacks you, you would go to the police station and be protected. Whereas here, if something happens to me, I may even put…

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