New ban fools fans and observers: “dissuasive”

Media representatives complain that reporting on critical issues – such as working conditions – in Qatar is becoming more difficult.Image: IMAGO / ANP

Anna von Stefenelli

The criticism of the World Cup in Qatar does not stop. While human rights violations in the host country have so far been criticized, a new critical point is now being brought into focus: freedom of the press. Because the Arab Emirate promises huge restrictions on relations.

“Deterrent effect”: the media criticize the restrictions in Qatar

For example, international TV crews working in Qatar during the World Cup may be banned from interviewing people in their homes. This is part of wide-ranging reporting obligations which could have a “severe deterrent effect”. Numerous media representatives criticize him, as reported by “The Guardian”.

Numerous people lost their lives in preparation for the World Cup in Qatar.

Numerous people lost their lives in preparation for the World Cup in Qatar.Image: imago images

For example, according to filming permits issued by the Qatari government, TV stations are not allowed to film in accommodation housing, for example, migrant workers.

The conditions also prohibit registration in government buildings, universities, places of worship and hospitals. In addition to registrations in residential buildings and private companies.

Complaint and LGBTQ + reporting is made more difficult

Restrictions are part of a list of conditions that broadcasters must accept. At least if they ask the Qatari authorities for permission to shoot “photo and video recordings in the country’s most famous locations”.

The restrictions apply not only to video recordings, but also to photographers, as “The Guardian” writes. However, print journalists are exempt from the regulations. At least under the premise of not filming their interviews.

Criticism of human rights in Qatar rains all over the world.

Criticism of human rights in Qatar rains all over the world.Image: PA wire / Nick Potts

The rules do not prohibit reporting on specific topics. However, the restriction on recording is likely to make it more difficult for journalists to investigate reported abuses – such as the exploitation and living conditions of migrant workers or the rights of LGBTQ + people.

Qatar defends itself: the rules for TV have already been loosened

Qatar himself has already commented on the allegations. On Saturday, the Supreme Committee denied limiting media freedom, stating that “several regional and international media are based in Qatar and thousands of journalists report freely from Qatar every year without interference.”

The agency said it updated an older version of the conditions for applying for filming permits on its website to loosen the rules for TV channels.

This includes, for example, removing the requirement for journalists to “confirm and agree” not to report on certain topics. For example, reporters were previously prohibited from writing reports that could be “inappropriate or offensive to Qatari culture and Islamic principles.”

On the surface, a lot has happened.

Fifa said it is working with the Supreme Committee and relevant organizations in Qatar to ensure the best possible working conditions for the media participating in the tournament. In addition, FIFA wants to ensure that television broadcasters “can continue to report freely and without restrictions”..

But: a spokesman said it was “important to clarify that filming on private property in each country remains subject to the property owner / manager’s permission.” He did not comment on why the terms include a total ban on filming on private property.

Qatar is dressing up for the next World Cup.

Qatar is dressing up for the next World Cup.Image: IMAGO / NurPhoto

Representatives of the Western media criticize the fact that we cannot talk about free news. They fear the consequences.

German journalists also arrested

After all, foreign journalists have been arrested several times in Qatar in the past. For example, because they reported on topics considered controversial by the authorities.

In 2015, a group of BBC journalists were arrested in Doha and spent two nights in jail while investigating the housing conditions of migrant workers. In 2013, German journalist Peter Giesel was arrested for the same reasons. Giesel and the cameraman Ahne were detained for 27 hours and they were only released when the German embassy in Qatar and the federal government’s human rights commissioner, Markus Löning, found out and intervened diplomatically.

In 2013 Peter Giesel was arrested in Qatar.

In 2013 Peter Giesel was arrested in Qatar.Image: imago images / future image

There are also more recent cases: Last November, for example, two Norwegian journalists reported on the working conditions of migrant workers in the World Cup venues. When they researched and then tried to leave the country, they were arrested and held for 36 hours.

Juventus Turin and coach Massimiliano Allegri are in trouble right now. In the Champions League, Juventus suffered a 2-0 defeat against Israeli club Maccabi Haifa. Juventus were behind after just seven minutes. Having lost three out of four group games, he is now third in Group H, five points behind Paris Saint-Germain and Benfica Lisbon.

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