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JustHere | November 15, 2017

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Press freedom, a mirage?

Press freedom, a mirage?

In a video released by Doha Centre for Free Media, Human Rights Watch’s Nicholas McGeehan says “Qatar is not living unto the progressive rhetoric of freedom of expression.”




He stressed the need for a landscape where journalists can fight for their rights without fear of sanctions. HRW had recently launched its 2013 world report in Doha.

Of the draft media law, a copy of which he has studied, he says there were some provisions that were contentious, and that he was concerned by the double standards of freedom of expression whereby Qatar-based journalists would be able to report on Arab awakenings from Egypt or Tunisia, but may not be able to do so when those issues are closer to home, be it in Qatar or its Gulf neighbours.

Interestingly, McGeehan says coverage of migrant workers has been rather good in the local media, citing a couple of Al Jazeera features as an example.

Do you think the local press has done justice to the issue of migrant workers? And how would you rate freedom of expression in the country?

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