CAMPAIGNER Peter Tatchell has been arrested by the Qatari security services while protesting against the country’s treatment of LGBT+ people in the run-up to the World Cup, his charity has said.

The Peter Tatchell Foundation said the human rights activist was detained near the national museum in Doha as he staged a demonstration against “one of the most homophobic regimes on Earth”, but added that he has now been released.

The 70-year-old had been holding a placard reading: “Qatar arrests, jails & subjects LGBTs to ‘conversion’ #QatarAntiGay,” the charity said.

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Neil Coyle, Labour MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, tweeted that he would be asking the embassy in London about his constituent.

“I’ll be asking [the Qatar Embassy] about my constituent and hope he is returned to the UK ASAP,” he said.

The foundation said in a press release: “Peter was seized by the Qatari security services while demonstrating in Doha against one of the most homophobic regimes on Earth.

“Qatar hosts the Fifa football World Cup in three weeks.

“He was arrested near Qatar’s national museum while staging the first ever public LGBT+ protest in Qatar or any Gulf state.”

Tatchell's colleague Simon Harris was also arrested and had his phone confiscated with all his photos and videos of the protest being deleted – but not before he sent the images to Tatchell's charity. 

Commenting on his protest, Tatchell said this was the"the first LGBT+ public protest in Qatar or any Gulf nation".

He added: "I did this protest to highlight Qatar’s abuse of LGBT+, women’s and migrant workers rights. I was standing in solidarity with brave Qatari human rights defenders who cannot make their voices heard because of the risk of arrest, jail and torture."