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.
Doha yesterday hosted the second meeting of the GCC parliamentary committee in the legislative field. The meeting was attended by delegations from the GCC Shura councils and national assemblies and the GCC Secretariat General.
In his opening remarks, Advisory Council controller Mohamed Abdullah al-Sulaiti outlined the progress of the GCC joint parliamentary work and its achievements, saying it was reached through concerted efforts and co-ordination.
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).
Manama: Women in Qatar have made history by taking two seats in the quadrennial national elections to choose the 29 members of the Central Municipal Council (CMC).
Despite predictions of a dismal voter turnout for Qatar’s only elected political body, some Qataris said they spent nearly two hours waiting to cast a ballot today.
Early indications suggested that participation in this year’s Central Municipal Council (CMC) elections – the nation’s fifth – would be the lowest in the political body’s 16-year history.
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.