British-Mexican man arrested in Qatar after being caught in police-led Grindr sting

Manuel Guerrero Aviña, a dual British-Mexican citizen, was arrested in Qatar after allegedly being entrapped by a police-led Grindr sting.

Side by side photos of British-Mexican citizen Manuel Guerreo and a Qatari flag
Image: Photo by Luluwa S

Manuel Guerrero Aviña, a dual British-Mexican citizen, is being held in a prison in Qatar after allegedly falling victim to a police-led sting carried out through the queer dating app Grindr.

According to his brother Enrique, Qatari police used a fake Grindr profile to contact Manuel. On February 4, police used the messaging feature on the app to lure him to a location in Doha where he was invited to meet another gay man in the city. Instead, he encountered police officers who were waiting to arrest him.

Manuel has been jailed since then and has reportedly been denied access to a lawyer and forced to sign documents in Arabic without a translator. The 44-year-old is said to be HIV positive and is being deprived of antiretroviral medicines. His family worries he may also be subjected to psychological torture and says he is facing “cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment”.

Queer people arrested in Qatar have historically been offered safety from physical torture if they identify other LGBTQ+ community members in the country and since his arrest, Manuel has reportedly been asked to similarly disclose this kind of information.


The British Foreign Office told The Mirror, “We are providing consular assistance to a British man who is detained in Qatar and are supporting his family.” However the family is unhappy with the British officials’ lack of progress toward Guerrero’s release.

His family appealed to the Mexican government for assistance, but, unfortunately, Doha’s Mexican Embassy said since Guerrero is a registered British resident of Qatar, the UK is responsible for negotiating his case.

Mexico’s foreign ministry has pledged to “do everything within the power of the Mexican state to safeguard Manuel’s rights, his dignity, and his access to necessary health treatments”.

Enrique is leading the QatarFreeManuel online campaign in hopes of drawing more attention to his brother’s arrest and advocating for his safety.

After working for British Airways for ten years, Manuel moved to Qatar in 2023 to accept a new job as the Acting Head of Product Development and Service Design at Qatar Airways.

Homosexuality is criminalised in Qatar and punishable by prison and even death under Sharia law. There are additionally no LGBTQ+ discrimination protections in place in the country, and according to equality ratings in Equaldex, Qatar scores seven out of 100 in terms of LGBTQ+ rights.

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