“I did this protest to highlight Qatar’s abuse of LGBT, women’s and migrant workers rights,” his foundation said in a statement. “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.”
In an earlier tweet, Tatchell said, “FIFA awarded the World Cup to Qatar where LGBTs can be jailed & executed.”
Reuters news agency reported that two uniformed officers and three plain clothes officials arrived at the scene of the protest and folded up a sign Tatchell was holding and took pictures of his passport and other papers and those of a man he was with.
Police shook Tatchell’s hand and left, leaving the activist on the sidewalk, Reuters said. Tatchell shared video on Twitter showing a man in plain clothes speaking to him and taking his sign away.
Tatchell told Doha News later that police did question him. He also said that he feared being detained and physically abused by the police but neither happened. Tatchell said the police were polite.
The World Cup takes place from November 20 to December 18.