Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Qatari media law

"Human Rights Watch also called on Sheikh Hamad not to approve a draft media law unless "loosely worded provisions penalising criticism of Qatar or neighbouring governments" were removed.  Although the legislation calls for abolishing criminal penalties for media law violations, article 53 prohibits publishing or broadcasting information that would "throw relations between the state and the Arab and friendly states into confusion" or "abuse the regime or offend the ruling family or cause serious harm to the national or higher interests of the state".  Those who violate the law would face fines of up to $275,000.  "The draft law builds in a double standard on free expression that is inconsistent with Qatar's claims to be a centre for media freedom in the region," Human Rights Watch said". (thanks Sultan)