Peter Tatchell has carried out a protest in Qatar ©Getty Images

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said he was arrested and then freed in Qatar after protesting against the FIFA World Cup host nation's treatment of LGBT+ people.

Tatchell stood outside the National Museum in Doha with a sign reading "Qatar arrests, jails and subjects LGBTs to conversion."

A video posted on social media shows him being approached by Qatari security services.

However, he later said he had been released and he thanked staff at the British Consulate.

Qatari officials denied Tatchell was detained.

"I stood in front of the National Museum of Qatar on the busy main road with my placard for 35 minutes before state security arrived, followed by police," said Tatchell.

"I was arrested and detained on the kerbside for 49 minutes.

"There were a total of nine officers surrounding and interrogating me about where I was from, who was helping me, where I was staying and when I was leaving Qatar."

Reuters reported that officials folded up Tatchell's sign and took photos of his passport.

"Rumours on social media that a representative from the Peter Tatchell Foundation has been arrested in Qatar are completely false and without merit," a Qatari Government statement said. 

"An individual standing in a traffic roundabout was cordially and professionally asked to move to the sidewalk, no arrests were made."

Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar.

Tatchell's protest comes after a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report released yesterday claimed that security forces in the country arbitrarily arrested and abused LGBT+ Qataris as recently as last month.

HRW said it had interviewed four transgender women, one bisexual woman and one gay man, who said they had been detained between 2019 and this year.

They said they had been kept without charge in an underground prison in Doha and subjected to verbal and physical abuse, including kicking and punching.

One individual said they were held for two months in solitary confinement.

All six said that police forced them to sign pledges indicating that they would "cease immoral activity", it is claimed.

The group added that transgender women detainees were forced to attend conversion therapy sessions.

A Qatari official said that HRW's allegations "contain information that is categorically and unequivocally false".

But the report has added extra political pressure on local organisers and FIFA as the opening match of the World Cup looms on November 20.

Qatar has faced numerous human rights criticisms, including for its treatment of women and migrant workers at tournament venues.

Tatchell began campaigning for LGBT+ rights in 1969, aged 17.

He says he has been involved in more than 3,000 protests and arrested more than 100 times, as well as being subject to numerous violent assaults, death threats and attacks on his flat.

During the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, Tatchell delivered a speech where he targeted participating nations that still have laws against LGBT+ people.