2022 World Cup host Qatar censors LGBTQ news coverage / LGBTQ Nation


The tiny Arab nation of Qatar (population 2.69 million) is preparing to host the 2022 World Cup, but at what cost?

According to ABC News‘ report on Friday, press freedoms and human rights are being censored at a speedy clip, including full pages erased and replaced with blank spaces.

Several New York Times articles from April 2018 through July 2018 were “exceptionally removed,” according to a note that appeared in the Doha edition of the New York Times International Edition.

All eight of the removed pieces dealt with issues affecting the LGBTQ community.

ABC News applied pressure and FIFA responded, calling freedom of the press a “cornerstone of FIFA’s human rights efforts.”

FIFA has “launched an assessment of the processes” that led to the censorship in question.

“FIFA is aware and closely following up on the two recent opinion pieces discussing LGBTI issues linked to the FIFA World Cup that were not printed in the Doha edition of the New York Times,” a FIFA spokesperson said. “As part of our ongoing activities in Qatar, we have already in early June 2018 launched an assessment of the processes that led to that. We will decide on appropriate further measures based on the results of this assessment and the engagement with our Qatari counterparts.”

Human Rights Watch Director of Global Initiatives, Minky Worden, said Qatar might fall into violation if the issues are not remedied immediately.

“As the next host of the World Cup, Qatar should be responsible for implementing FIFA’s human rights policies as an example to the participating countries,” wrote Worden, whose May 29 column in the Times arguing that anti-gay laws “clash with FIFA statutes” was among those censored, in a formal complaint filed earlier this month through FIFA’s human rights reporting mechanism. “The censorship of the media has also been noticed by the LGBTQ community as a sign that they are not welcome in Qatar.”

Negating Worden’s stance is FIFA human rights manager Andreas Graf, who told Worden in response that “Qatar as a host country is not subject to FIFA’s Statutes, nor is it bound by FIFA’s Human Rights Policy and related FIFA regulations.”

“FIFA is aware and closely following up on the two recent opinion pieces discussing LGBTI issues linked to the FIFA World Cup that were not printed in the Doha edition of the New York Times,” a FIFA spokesperson said. “As part of our ongoing activities in Qatar, we have already in early June 2018 launched an assessment of the processes that led to that. We will decide on appropriate further measures based on the results of this assessment and the engagement with our Qatari counterparts.”

“If you let the Qataris pick and choose what will be printed, don’t be surprised if you have an ever narrower field of what can be published,” Worden said. “The Times has taken of strong stance on press freedom around the world, but this could set a troubling precedent.”

“While we understand that our publishing partners are sometimes faced with local pressures, we deeply regret and object to any censorship of our journalism and are in regular discussions with our distributors about this practice,” a spokesperson for the New York Times told ABC News.

Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar. The 1979 “Press and Publications Law” permits the government to revoke a publication’s license if its policies are perceived to be “not in the national interest.”

This Story Filed Under





Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *