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RTL Nachtjournal Spezial, June 23, 12:20 a.m.: Locals from the LGBTIQ+ community …

19.06.2022 – 16:30

RTL News

Cologne (ots)

The FIFA World Cup 2022 will take place in Qatar in November. The desert state presents itself as open-minded, FIFA wants to put football in the foreground. But the emirate has been criticized for years for serious human rights violations. Same-sex sexual acts are forbidden and can be punished with flogging, several years imprisonment and theoretically even death. But the harassment that the LGBTIQ+* community in Qatar faces on a daily basis remains seldom made public. For the first time, reporters Jonas Gerdes and Timo Latsch have succeeded in interviewing homosexual Qataris on camera about the difficult situation in their home country. For fear of criminal prosecution and the government’s far-reaching monitoring options, the locals sometimes only communicate about their sexuality with the help of code words. The preliminary talks with the reporters took place via encrypted messenger services. They appear at secret locations in Europe and Asia for the interview.

RTL is showing the report “Red card instead of rainbow – homosexuals in Qatar” on the night of June 23 at 0:20 a.m. for the first time in its entirety in an RTL Nachtjournal Spezial and in other excerpts in the news and magazines of RTL/ntv. A repeat can be seen on June 23 at 3:40 p.m. in a “News Special” on ntv. The report will also be available on RTL+ afterwards.

The report is part of the “Diversity Week” in which RTL Germany from June 20 to 26 focuses on the subject of LGBTIQ+ in its extensive range of content.

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“We have an existential fear of punishment and death because what we learned growing up is that being gay is an aberration, not a natural thing.”

A Katari told reporters about the systematic discrimination against homosexuals in his homeland. Accounts of the frustration of suppressed love and traumatic scenes of open harassment by state authorities are among the many moving stories captured during the report. “I don’t want to grow old without someone by my side. When I’m in a mall with my family and I see a couple holding hands, I get extremely frustrated, angry and jealous,” says one local . “The worst thing is when I travel and then come back to Qatar and have to go through customs,” says a transgender Qatari, recounting his experiences: “They took me to the police station and shaved my head. After a few hours, they let me go . When that happened, I lost all hope in the system. These people are supposed to protect us, but they’re doing the complete opposite.”

“When we travel, we respect other cultures and we expect the same from fans: showing affection in public is forbidden, whether by members of the LGBTIQ community or straight people.”

Emphasizes Nasser AL-Khater, Managing Director of the World Cup Organizing Committee, in an exclusive interview with the reporters. Similar to the tournament boss, the director of the Qatar league, Ahmed Abbassi, also says: “Nobody goes out here with a big sign saying they are LGBTIQ, but that’s nowhere. It’s different from the other things, workers’ rights, where we are wanting to improve, I think it’s a question of culture.”

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Timo Latsch, Deputy Head of Sport at RTL NEWS: “For me, football stands above all for fun, fairness and diversity: the regime in Qatar doesn’t do this. That’s why, as a member of the LGBTIQ+ family, I don’t want to support this FIFA World Cup and for the first time since 2006 I won’t be there as a sports reporter be to report on football.”

Jonas Gerdes, RTL / ntv Reporter: “We’ve been researching since January to gain the trust of people from the LGBTIQ+ community. I’m shocked at how dramatic the situation really is for them in the World Cup country. Officially, FIFA is committed to upholding all internationally recognized human rights and sets advocates the protection of these rights, but in Qatar it has done so too little so far.”

Also speak:

Oliver Bierhoff, director national team

Nasser AL-Khater, Managing Director of the World Cup Organizing Committee

Gianni Infantino, FIFA President

Jürgen Klinsmann, former national coach

Nasser Mohammed, first gay Katari to come out publicly in the United States

Wolfgang Büttner, Human Rights Watch

Benjamin Nassler, “Mr. Gay Germany” and initiator of the petition “Love knows no break”

An exclusive preview of the report “Red card instead of rainbow – homosexuals in Qatar” will be available in the Media Hub from Wednesday, June 22nd.

All quotes are free to use with a reference to RTL/ntv.

*The abbreviation stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex, Queer, the + for other gender identities.

Press contact:

Thomas Steuer
Manager communication information/sport RTL Germany
Phone: 02214565361
[email protected]

Kevin Hielscher
Junior Manager Communication Information/Sport RTL Germany
Phone: 022145674104
[email protected]

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Original content from: RTL News, transmitted by news aktuell

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