The arrests last year of two foreign film crews in Qatar has made journalists more apprehensive about investigating and reporting on the country, according to a media rights watchdog.
Reporters Without Borders knocked Qatar down two spots in its annual World Press Freedom Index, released yesterday. Qatar now sits in 117th place among 180 nations included in the ranking, behind Kuwait but still ahead of the other GCC countries.
A Qatari poet who was jailed for nearly five years will leave the country now that he has been pardoned by the Emir, his lawyer said.
Speaking to Doha News, former justice minister Najeeb Al Nauimi said he had a conversation with Mohammed Rashid Al-Ajami this week, who confirmed he has been given an unconditional pardon.
“It’s finished, it’s over,” Al Nauimi said.
Manama: A Qatari poet who had been sentenced to life in prison for insulting the Emir and encouraging the overthrow of the nation’s ruling system has been released.
Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Dheeb Al Ajami was arrested in Doha on November 16, 2011 after a poem he recited in August in the Egyptian capital Cairo where he was studying was posted on social media.
Mohammad, popularly known as Ibn Al Dheeb, recited the poem to a group of people, but he was reportedly unaware that he was recorded and that the recitation would be uploaded on You Tube.
Emir calls on Advisory Council to convene
HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani yesterday issued Decree No 42 of the year 2015 calling upon the Advisory Council to convene its regular 44th session. The Decree stipulated that the Council shall convene on Muharram 21st, 1437, corresponding to November 3, 2015.
Fatima Al Kuwari wins from Constituency Number 9; Sheikha Al Jefairi retains seat
Sheikha Al Jefairi, from Old Airport neighbourhood of Doha, was the lone woman CMC member for 12 years (for three terms of the CMC of four years each beginning 2003).
Au Qatar, ce mercredi 13 mai, c'est jour d'élections. Et pourtant il n'y a pas de partis politiques dans le petit émirat du Golfe. On vote néanmoins pour élire des conseillers municipaux. Ce sont les seules élections libres et mixtes dans le pays puisque les femmes peuvent aussi se présenter.
De notre correspondante à Doha,
HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani issued Decree No 17 of 2015, setting May 13 as the date for the election of members of the Central Municipal Council.
The decree invited citizens who have voting rights and who are on the electoral rolls to cast their votes in their constituencies. The decree is effective from its date of issuance and shall be published in the Official Gazette.
The working group for the preparations of fifth Central Municipal Council Election revealed the details on constituencies on preparations and constituencies, in a press conference held on Sunday 28/09/2014 at Civil Defence club.
What a difference a year makes in the Middle East. One year ago this week, Qatar's emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, handed over power to his son Sheikh Tamim, joining a short but seemingly growing list of monarchs who have abdicated in favor of their relatives. At the time of his abdication, Hamad left behind an empire of soft power and influence that spanned the entire region. Twelve months on, things could not be more different.
Qatar has resolved its differences with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE and it is up to its fellow Gulf countries to send their ambassadors back to Doha, Qatar's Foreign Minister Khalid Bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah said yesterday.
The resolution came during a meeting in Riyadh on April 17, Al-Attiyah told reporters following a Kuwaiti-Qatari Joint Higher Committee meeting.
Al-Attiyah praised Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah who worked to resolve the differences of opinion and reach the understandings that "are not considered concessions by any party".
KUWAIT: Gulf Cooperation Council parliament and Shura council chiefs have come up with a number of joint recommendations at the end of a meeting in Kuwait yesterday. They decided that Kuwait will host a conference of the committee of parliament chiefs on GCC economic integration in 2014, while Kuwait’s National Assembly will also be responsible for organizing a trip involving the regional group to the US Congress.
RIYADH: The $12 billion in aid Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait offered Egypt this week showed their delight at the army’s ousting of President Mohamed Morsi in a reversal for Islamists empowered by the Arab ferment of 2011. It also marked a recalibration of power among Gulf Arab states which, with the notable exception of Qatar, had viewed the Arab uprisings as catastrophic for regional stability and feared the Muslim Brotherhood would use its domination of Egypt to push a radical, Islamist agenda in their own backyard.
Qatar’s long-awaited legislative elections may not happen until 2016, following the former Emir’s decision to extend the Advisory (Shura) Council’s term for another three years. QNA previously announced that a decree regarding the council’s term was made in the last few hours of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani’s rule, but just yesterday disclosed details of the decision. The Advisory Council’s term was last extended in 2010, until 2013, based on the constitutional provision that “extending the council’s term is permitted if it is found to be in the public’s best interest."
The Qatari emir has confirmed to members of the ruling family that he will step down and transfer power to his heir apparent.
Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani met royals and prominent members of Qatari society on Monday, and announced plans for a transition to his son, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
Sheikh Tamim, 33, has been groomed for the position since 2003, when his elder brother stepped aside.
Sheikh Hamad has been in power since 1995, during which Qatar has evolved into an important player on the regional and international political scenes.
Qatar is preparing to launch a leadership transition this summer that will see the emir relinquish power to his son, and his cousin, the owner of Harrods, step down as prime minister.
Senior figures in Qatar have briefed foreign counterparts that the time has come for Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, the 33-year-old crown prince to take over the leadership of the gas-rich Gulf state, the Daily Telegraph has learned.
The Gulf Cooperation Council yesterday unanimously declared Lebanon-based Hezbollah a terrorist organization and said it would take measures against the group’s interest in the Gulf countries.
“All GCC countries are convinced that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization,” Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Ghanim bin Fadl Al-Buainain told reporters following a meeting of GCC foreign ministers in Jeddah.
By Hassan Abdulrahim Al-Sayed
A matter of weeks separate us from June 30, 2013, the date set by Emiri declaration (number 18 for the year 2010), for the current term of the appointed Advisory Council to end.
Will it be renewed for another term? Or will we actually witness legislative elections this year, years after the law stipulating the need for elections and the institutionalization of them was issued?
Mogadishu: A car bomb hit a convoy of cars carrying Qatari officials through the centre of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Sunday, killing at least eight Somalis, officials said.
The visiting delegation of Qataris, who were travelling in the Somali interior minister’s bullet-proof vehicle, were “safe”, a security officer said, without going into further detail. The minister was not in the car at the time.