Text of report in English by
An Arab human rights activist has called on Qatari media to start a public debate on press freedom that would push the authorities to amend the existing press law, which he deemed as unconstitutional.
Yahya Shukkier, a Jordan-based journalist and media freedom activist with the Amman Centre for Human Rights Studies, said despite the popularity of the controversial satellite news channel Al-Jazeera, other media in
"We [human rights activists] encouraged journalists here to tackle this issue and start a national debate to amend the press legislation and meet the international standards."
Shukkier recently held a workshop on media freedom targeting Qatar-based journalists at the National Human Rights Committee.
According to the activist,
"Meaning that in theory the government can sue any journalist working without a licence. Also Qatari journalists need licensing."
In a recent report on media freedom in the Arab world issued by the Amman Centre for Human Rights Studies,
"There has been an improvement in
Shukkier said it is important that media establishments debate these issues, introduce a code of ethics and possibly form journalists' unions to protect their rights.
Qatari officials at the National Human Rights Committee and the Foreign Information Agency did not reply to requests to comment on the issue. Editors and journalists in the printed press, who have been approached, have also declined to comment.
Doha-based Al-Jazeera news channel is considered the most controversial and popular TV channel of the Arab world.
Source: Gulf News website,