Blog archive: Qatar

  • 15th February 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Investigations by Amnesty International have uncovered an elaborate "phishing" campaign which targeted dozens of activists, trade unionists and journalists working on the issue of migrant labourers' rights in Qatar. Amnesty's revelations come just two weeks after the exposure of a separate...
  • 2nd February 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    While the arrival of Donald Trump at the White House has been greeted with horror in many parts of the world, his fellow autocrats in the Arab Gulf states have been giving him a much friendlier reception. Trump spent an hour on the phone talking to the Saudi king last Sunday. The views of...
  • 22nd January 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Numerous social media accounts associated with Voiceless Victims, a mysterious and possibly sinister "human rights" organisation, have been deleted over the last couple of weeks. Voiceless Victims had approached Amnesty International and other established organisations with a view to cooperating...
  • 11th January 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The story of Voiceless Victims, the fake human rights organisation that sought to "cooperate" with campaigns supporting migrant workers in Qatar, has taken a puzzling turn. A newly-created Twitter account using the Voiceless Victims logo has begun tweeting about rape and sexual assaults in...
  • 4th January 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The 2022 World Cup has turned into a mixed blessing for Qatar. What at first seemed like a brilliant opportunity to showcase the small Gulf state has instead brought a torrent of bad publicity – some because of the way Qatar was chosen by football's corrupt governing body, Fifa, to host...
  • 24th December 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A fake human rights group which apparently tried to gather intelligence about genuine campaigners is claiming that its strange behaviour was the result of threats from "the bad guys". The group, calling itself "Voiceless Victims", purported to be campaigning on behalf of exploited...
  • 23rd December 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A "non-profit" organisation which claimed to be campaigning on behalf of exploited construction workers in Qatar has been exposed as a fake.  Purportedly operating from France, where it used a false address, "Voiceless Victims" contacted several genuine organisations concerned about...
  • 8th December 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A British flag flying shamelessly alongside those of repressive Gulf regimes at the GCC summit in Bahrain yesterday signalled the opening of what prime minister Theresa May hails as "a new chapter" in foreign relations. Mrs May has decided that when Britain extricates itself from Europe the...
  • 6th December 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Britain's prime minister, Theresa May, is in Bahrain today for the annual summit of the rich autocrats' club, the Gulf Cooperation Council. As the official announcement from Downing Street excitedly points out, she is the first British prime minister – and the first woman – ever to attend...
  • 5th December 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Doha Centre for Media Freedom was set up by the emir of Qatar in 2007. Press freedom and quality journalism, its mission statement says, "are vital for empowering citizens to participate in social and political life. Well functioning media are crucial for healthy societies and...
  • 29th September 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    According to Islamic tradition the Prophet Muhammed once said: "Pay the labourer his wages before his sweat dries". But in the devout Gulf states that is one religious instruction employers are often content to ignore. Stories abound of workers being unpaid for months – and sometimes never...
  • 4th September 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The wealthy autocrats of the Gulf have traditionally relied on money to minimise dissent and keep themselves in power. In the initial alarm over the Arab Spring uprisings, the king of Saudi Arabia dipped into his pockets and produced a £133 billion social spending package to include bonuses...

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