Cherie Blair boasts of 'good links' to autocratic monarchy that imprisons people for being gay

The eminent lawyer tried to arrange a meeting for the country' Crown Prince with Hillary Clinton

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Cherie Blair boasted of her “good links” to the rulers of an autocratic petro-state which has been criticised as having a terrible human rights record, according to emails seen by the public for the first time.

The eminent lawyer and wife of former prime minister Tony Blair wrote to US secretary of state Hillary Clinton in June 2010 to encourage stronger ties between Qatar and the US.

“As you know I have good links to the Qataris,” she wrote in the email to Hilary Clinton, released to the public this week.

“Sheikha Mosah's son is the 31/32 year old Crown Prince and she is keen that he starts to build a wider international profile.”

Ms Blair then tried to arrange a meeting or phone call between the then prince and Ms Clinton, noting the prince’s role at the country’s food security programme.

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Qatar

Qatar has a widely criticised human rights record. Homosexuality is illegal and punishable by jail and lashings, while human rights groups have noted widespread domestic violence against women and restrictions on freedom of expression.

The country has also come under sustained international criticism for its treatment of migrant workers, with reports of thousands dying in unsafe conditions on construction projects, most notably the 2022 World Cup.

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The email was released by the US State Department

Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter was made to apologise in 2010 after he said gay football fans should avoid having sex while visiting the World Cup to get around its discriminatory laws.

Amnesty International’s human rights report 2014/15 on Qatar says: “Migrant workers remained inadequately protected under the law and were exploited and abused. Women faced discrimination and violence. The authorities restricted freedom of expression and courts failed to uphold fair trial standards. At least two death sentences were passed; no executions were reported.”

It emerged yesterday that Tony Blair could be asked to take part in a government inquiry into allegations that he tried to save Libyan dictator Golonel Gaddafi before the allied bombing of the country.

Mr Blair purportedly called Downing Street to say the Libyan leader wanted “a deal with the British”. David Cameron, however, did not take up the offer.

The Independent contacted Cherie Blair’s office for comment on this story but did not immediately receive a response.

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