Rights in Exile Programme

Refugee Legal Aid Information for Lawyers Representing Refugees Globally

Qatar LGBTI Resources

(See Below for Case Law, Evidence of Public Attitudes, NGOs that Assist or Advocate on LGBTI issues, and Country of Origin LGBTI Specialists)


According to a 2012 report by ILGA (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association), homosexuality is illegal in Qatar under Act 11 of the 2004 Penal Code. Female and male same-sex relations are prohibited by Articles 281 and 284 respectively. The penalty for engaging in same-sex sexual relations with consenting persons over the age of 16 is seven years imprisonment.

Islamic Sharia Law also applies to Muslims in Qatar. Married persons entering into extra-marital sexual relationships (whether homosexual or heterosexual) can face execution, and sexual acts between non-married persons can be punishable by flogging.

The United States’ 2013 State Department Country Report on Human Rights in Qatar reported that LGBTI persons are discriminated against both in law and practice.



No case law is currently listed here, but we welcome suggestions.



According to the US State Department, deeply entrenched societal hostility towards homosexuality has resulted in an absence of an open LGBTI community. Many LGBTI people are forced to hide their sexuality, and there are very few community, NGO advocacy or support groups. As of 2013, ‘there were no government efforts to address potential discrimination nor are there antidiscrimination laws’.

In 2013, LGBT Weekly reported that Qatar, along with Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, were working on a test to detect a person’s sexual orientation, in order to ban homosexual people from entering the countries. A representative of the Kuwaiti Health Ministry, was quoted as saying ‘we will take stricter measures that will help us detect gays who will then be barred from entering Kuwait or any of the GCC [Gulf Co-operation Council] states’.

These discriminatory measures are likely to receive more international attention in the lead-up to Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. FIFA has been urged to put pressure on Qatar ahead of the 2022 World Cup to provide better legal safeguards against discrimination based on sexual orientation. Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has argued that Qatar’s plans to introduce a ‘gay test’ at immigration would mean that the World Cup would have to be cancelled, as ‘gay players and spectators will be banned from attending’.



We do not currently have any NGOs listed, but we welcome suggestions.



We do not currently list any specialists on LGBTI issues in Qatar, but we welcome suggestions.


Researched by:  Kate Schofield

Email: katealexschofieldatgmail [dot] com