Qatar to draft new media legislation to supplant 1979 law

April 8, 2010
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Qatar is drafting a new media law that will cover all forms of information dissemination, the minister of culture, arts and heritage has said.

“The information sector in Qatar has seen great changes and is no longer confined to traditional media,” Hamad Al Kawari said. “Today, it includes electronic media and other modern ways of communication, so there is a need to draft a new media law that regulates all aspects of information dissemination,” the minister said in London.

The new legislation that will supplant the 1979 law will be a milestone for freedom of the press and expression in the Arabian Gulf state.

“The new law will provide legislative protection for freedom of expression in Qatar. The law will be the only arbitrator in all cases,” He said.

Al Kawari said that there was no censorship of information in general in Qatar after it was officially abolished in 1997 and that “restrictions existed in only very exceptional cases.”

Qatar in 1998 made history in the Arab world by taking the unprecedented step of abolishing the information ministry, established in 1972.

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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