Blog archive: Qatar

  • 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...
  • 3rd September 2016
    By
    James M Dorsey
    Global soccer and global sports governance have for the past nine years and certainly since a fateful meeting in late 2010 of the executive committee of FIFA, the world soccer body, witnessed crisis after crisis. Invariably the scandals involved corruption: financial corruption, political...
  • 1st September 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    THE GULF STATE of Qatar is small but exceptionally rich and uses its money relentlessly to acquire friends and influence. The recipients of its largesse have been many and various, from Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation in the United States to the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups....
  • 9th August 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Last Friday the Doha News website did something rather shocking – at least, by Qatar's standards. It posted an article entitled: "What it's like to be gay and Qatari". Attached to the article was a note from the editors explaining their decision to publish it: "Doha News is aware that any...
  • 14th July 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Britain's continuing political upheaval resulted not only in the appointment of a new prime minister yesterday but also a new foreign secretary, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson – referred to by almost everyone simply as "Boris" or "BoJo".  In some ways, Boris and the Foreign Office...
  • 22nd May 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Progressive social policies are increasingly under attack in international forums. Muslim countries are in the forefront of this campaign but they are also aided by rightwing elements in the United States and by countries where social conservatism has become part of nationalist discourse. The...
  • 11th March 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    At the United Nations, Qatar has been boasting about its support for the right to "freedom of religion or belief" and the right to "freedom of opinion and expression". The "positive practice" of these two rights "can contribute to strengthening both of them", according to Sheikh...

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