Dr Nas Mohamed was blocked and then unblocked by David Beckham for challenging him on LGBTQ+ rights. (Getty/ BBC)
Qatar’s only openly gay public figure has claimed he was blocked on Instagram by David Beckham after appealing for him to take a stand on LGBTQ+ rights in the country.
Dr Nas Mohamed says he was “shocked” by the footballer’s initial response, but says he was then unblocked after the online incident was reported in the press.
PinkNews has contacted Beckham for comment, but he has yet to respond.
In 2021, David Beckham signed a deal, reportedly worth £150 million, to become the “face of Qatar” ahead of this year’s World Cup.
Both Beckham and the world football governing body FIFA have received widespread backlash for the promotion of Qatar, a nation where homosexuality is illegal and punishments can range from hefty fines to prison sentences.
In regions where Sharia law is enforced, it is possible for men found to have engaged in same-sex intimacy to be given a death sentence.
Dr Nas Mohamed is a gay doctor who seeking asylum in the US after fleeing Qatar, and is thought to be the only openly gay Qatari with a public platform.
Mohamed recently published an open letter to Beckham, accusing him of “stamping out hope” for the LGBTQ+ community in Qatar, writing: “You show up… take money and look the other way.
“Furthermore, you send a message that there is truly no chance for us to escape our current persecution and live freely… This whitewashing of the persecution of the LGBT community in Qatar does not just erase the pain of those suffering from it, but also undermines their pleas for asylum when they do escape.
“After all, if David Beckham describes Qatar as ‘perfection’, how bad could it really be?”
This week, speaking to Metro, Mohamed said that he was blocked by Beckham instead of receiving a response.
“I was quite shocked just to get a reaction because I’ve been ignored completely by FIFA, FIFA officials, World Cup officials and my own government,” he said.
“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.”
After the story was published, Mohamed reported that Beckham had unblocked him.
“Thank you David Beckham for unblocking me after I put it in the press,” he wrote on Instagram.
“Now I expect us to have a conversation about what is going on. I am waiting.”
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