The blocking of popular independent news website, last week Doha News has received widespread coverage from international outlets who have questioned the reason behind the decision.
Doha Centre for Media Freedom has been inquiring about the website closure to confirm the basis for the decision by the authorities, especially in light of Qatar’s commitment to press freedom and the abolition of censorship with the dissolution of the Ministry of Information in 1997.
Speaking to senior officials, DCMF was told that the blocking of the website was not a result of censorship, but was a matter of registration and licensing.
A senior source within the department of publications at the Ministry of Culture and Sports told DCMF that “the measures taken against Doha News were due to the failure to comply with the legal procedures required by the authorities for providing licenses in accordance with the laws and regulations of Qatar.”
Doha News reported that this was also confirmed by internet service providers Ooredoo and Vodafone.
DCMF appreciates the Ministry of Culture clarifying the issue surrounding the blocking of Doha News, and hopes that the website is able to resolve the issue and continue its work in Qatar as soon as possible.