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Doha Centre for Media Freedom funding withheld 23, June 2009

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Qatar.

Doha’s Centre for Media Freedom, true to its ethos, vented its anger regarding what it sees as official meddling and non-payment. In an article it claimed that it had not been paid its stipulated and agreed funds by the 1st April. This meant that it was unable to fulfill its mandate and help journalists in dire need. It vaguely cites “some members of the government” as purposefully withholding payment. Until April, the Centre had given a total of 254 assistance grants to journalists in need around the world.

Although the Centre’s budget is a paltry $4 million by the standards of Qatar’s gas wealth, the Centre does not endear itself to the government. It criticizes the state as and when it sees fit and its criticisms of neighbouring countries will, as Al Jazeera has in the past, cause many issues for the Qatari government. The current head of the organisation, Robert Ménard, has something of a direct and even confrontational style when pursuing his work. How long the Centre will function, be funded and be headed by Ménard must be – unfortunately – open to question.


1. Huge blow for Doha’s Centre for Media Freedom « The Gulf blog - 24, June 2009

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