Monday, June 6, 2011

New Law Relaxes Press Restrictions in Qatar

DOHA, QATAR - JANUARY 05: Women of Qatar sit i...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeThe Website reports a new media law approved in the Arab emirate of Qatar allows journalists to write about everything except national security matters.

The Peninsula, a Qatari daily, indicated the Ministry of Arts, Heritage & Culture is likely to be the authority licensing and overseeing the news media. Under the new measure, absent a court order, journalists cannot be detained by authorities. The new law also empowers journalists to protect the identity of confidential sources unless a court orders disclosure of the anonymous sources.

Additionally, the recently enacted media law shields journalists from being incarcerated if found liable for defamation, though such journalists could be subject to fines of up to QR50,000 ($13,729). Foreign journalists covering Qatar must possess a degree in mass communication, under the measure.

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