David Beckham blocks gay Qatari campaigner on Instagram while Scottish father-of-three begs star to intervene as he faces jail in World Cup host country over unpaid debt
- The footballer signed a controversial £10million deal to promote Qatar
- Beckham blocked a high-profile gay Qatari campaigner on Instagram on Sunday
- He is also under pressure to help a Scottish man at risk of imprisonment there
- Qatar still has strict laws against any type of homosexual relationship
- He was recently filmed with a Qatari woman who said gay people were ‘animals’
David Beckham has reportedly blocked Qatar’s first openly gay man to speak globally about LGBT+ issues in the country as he also faces calls to assist a Scottish man facing two years in jail in Qatar.
Father-of-three Brian Glendinning, 43, who also has a grandchild, was arrested in Iraq last month over an unpaid debt, after an Interpol Red Notice from Qatar was issued.
He arrived at Basra airport in Iraq on September 12 to start a job at a BP oil refinery.
But Mr Glendinning, from Kincardine, Fife, was quickly arrested over a debt owed to Qatar National Bank.
He has been imprisoned in Baghdad ever since as his family desperately try to get him home.
David Beckham signed a controversial £10 million deal with Qatar to promote the country ahead of the world cup.
This is despite warnings over human rights abuses and the country’s abysmal record on LGBT+ issues: sex between two men can technically still be punished with the death penalty.
Former England footballer David Beckham has become the ‘face’ of the Qatar World cup despite concerns over human rights abuses in the country
Dr Nas Mohamed, 35, came out as gay in May and is now seeking asylum in the US. He discovered Beckham had blocked him on Sunday after he tagged him in a series of posts about LGBT+ rights in Qatar
Brian Glendinning (right) has been detained in Iraq after Qatar issued an Interpol arrest warrant. He is pictured here with (L-R) brother John, mother Meta and brother Lee
Brian, 43, pictured with his wife Kimberly – the couple has three children
The appeals for Beckham to help the family come as a prominent LGBT+ campaigner from Qatar, who has frequently spoken out about the strict laws against homosexuality in the nation, discovered he had been blocked by the star.
Dr Nas Mohamed had tagged Beckham in a series of posts drawing attention to the LGBT+ community’s plight in the run-up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
After tagging Beckham’s account in posts, including one saying ‘love is not a crime and being an LGBT person is not a crime’, he said he discovered on Sunday that he could no longer view the profile.
Dr Nas, who is seeking asylum in the US, told Metro he has been ‘ignored completely’ by FIFA, FIFA officials and World Cup officials.
He said: ‘I am getting international reaction from human rights and LGBT organisations, and even Norway’s football federation met me and had a positive statement on their website about the work I am doing for the LGBT community in Qatar.
‘It’s not only shocking, it’s frightening that they are so engaged with the deal they are doing that they don’t want to hear the message.
‘A few months into this I was exhausted and frankly this is the fuel I need for my fire, I will continue to speak up. The gay community in Qatar has been sending me messages saying how they feel upset and defeated.
‘That’s exactly what I said in my letter to Beckham, he’s crushing hope with the deal he has made, and then follows it by blocking the only publicly known LGBT person from the country.’
Dr Nas, 35, came out publicly as gay in May, and quickly received death threats and abusive messages from many Qataris.
He has accepted that the decision to come out means he will not be able to return to Qatar and he is now estranged from his family.
Beckham is the face of the Qatari World Cup and has been filmed on multiple visits to the country which have included perks such as limousines provided by the Qatari government and seeing his face on billboards across Doha.
This is despite the fact that sex between people of the same sex is punishable in law, with homosexuality between men sometimes resulting in the death penalty.
In a recent video released by Qatar, David Beckham met with a 60-year-old woman whose homespun entrepreneurship has made her an icon for progressive women throughout the Middle East.
But this was somewhat overshadowed by the woman’s daughter, who acted as interpreter for the clip, later denouncing homosexuality as ‘against human nature’ as she proclaimed: ‘We are not animals here!’
She told the Daily Mail: ‘That is not acceptable.
‘It [homosexuality] goes against human nature, it goes against science and it goes against our culture! We are not animals here!
‘God has differentiated us from animals. God has created us as men and women.
‘This only happens because people have been sexually abused (as children) and this has made them afraid.’
LGBT+ football fans have been warned by some organisations to stay away from this year’s world cup amid fears over their safety.
David Beckham has been widely criticised for his deal with Qatar, and has not spoken about the country’s oppressive laws against the LGBT+ community.
Beckham is also facing calls to intervene in another case after a Scottish family launched a direct appeal to him today to assist them in freeing Brian Glendinning.
Mr Glendenning was arrested last month on a Interpol Red Alert from Qatar and is now facing extradition from Baghdad as his desperate family scramble to raise £40,000 to help with legal costs to try and bring him home.
Beckham controversially signed a £10million deal to promote Qatar ahead of the World Cup
He has been in a jail in Baghdad for more than four weeks and his children have now appealed to football star David Beckham to support their father’s release.
In a statement today they said: ‘We are asking everyone and anyone with influence and connections with Qatar to please help save our Dad.
‘David Beckham is the international face of football, he agreed to a £10 million deal with Qatar to act as an ambassador for the country.
‘Since Doha is hosting the World Cup this year, we just hope he may be able to use his position to convince Qatar to let our father come home.’
Interpol expert Radha Stirling, founder of IPEX, is supporting the family.
She said with the World Cup coming up, Qatar ‘should be mindful’ of rights attacks towards foreigners.
Ms Stirling said: ‘Brian needs public support.
‘He needs the support of influencers and people who can have a real impact on Qatar’s authorities, particularly in the context of the World Cup.
‘Unfortunately, the UK Government has compromised their own ability to influence Doha, with tens of billions of pounds flowing into the British economy from Qatar.
‘The FCDO has little leverage.
‘But Qatari officials are cognizant of their country’s image, and want the World Cup to proceed without a glitch.
‘If someone like David Beckham uses his celebrity and influence to advocate for Brian, it could make a huge difference.’
Construction engineer Brian took out a £20,000 loan from the bank in 2016 while he was working in Doha.
He was making monthly repayments on the loan but lost his job after he became sick and struggled to keep them up.
Nearly £20,000 has so far been raised in a fundraising campaign to help cover the family’s legal costs.
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