Representational image of LGBTQ flag
DeSantis Official Backtracks After Defending Qatar’s LGBTQ Attire Policies Photo by Giorgio Viera/AFP via Getty Images

A Brazilian journalist's phone was seized by police officers in Qatar after they mistook a regional Brazilian flag he had with him for an LGBTQ pride flag.

Victor Pereira, a Brazilian journalist covering the soccer World Cup in Qatar, was leaving the Lusail Stadium after Saudi Arabia won 2-1 over Argentina when a man wearing a traditional white dress mistook a colorful flag, a regional Brazilian flag, that Pereira had with him for an LGBTQ flag. The flag, features a rainbow, a red cross, and a star, and represents Brazil’s northeastern Pernambuco state, New York Post reported.

Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and is punishable by prison. The man, who thought that the flag was an LGBTQ flag, reportedly felt deeply offended by the flag that he ripped it out of Pereira’s hand and attempted to destroy it.

Pereira then took out his mobile phone and recorded the man's hostile reaction to his flag. However, seeing him record the video, the person snatched the phone from his hand, Sky News reported.

“This guy wearing a white dress grabbed the flag, threw it on the ground, and started stomping on it. I took my phone to record a video but he grabbed it from my hand and said he would only give it back if I deleted the video,” Pereira said in a video that he later shared online.

“Then an officer arrived and tried to intervene. He grabbed the phone from the other guy and ordered me to delete the video.”

The Brazilian journalist said in his video that he obeyed the police officer to ensure that he would get his phone back as he uses it for work. He then shared the video on Twitter. After he shared the video on Twitter describing what had happened, his story began circulating on social media platforms.

After the video went viral, Pernambuco’s governor Paulo Camara expressed his solidarity with Pereira on Twitter.

“The police saw exactly what our flag represents: freedom, diversity, and unity. Values that we are proud to take to the four corners of the world,” Camara wrote on Twitter and shared a photo of the flag along with it.

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