The Masters of Al-Jazeera Imprison a Blogger
By Cliff Kincaid | March 6, 2011
No wonder the Qatari blogger has been a non-entity on Al-Jazeera until now.
Al-Jazeera Director General Wadah Khanfar has given a much-publicized speech heralding the birth of a “New Era” in the Arab world. Al-Jazeera’s approach to journalism emphasizes “re-thinking authority, giving a voice to the voiceless,” he told Time magazine. But what about covering human rights in Qatar, which pays his salary?
Notorious for ignoring human rights problems in Qatar, Al-Jazeera has been forced reluctantly to briefly cover the case of a Qatari blogger imprisoned and possibly being tortured by security forces in that Arab country.
Under the matter-of-fact headline, “Amnesty: Qatari blogger detained,” Al-Jazeera English reports that Amnesty International is calling attention to how Sultan al-Khalaifi, a Qatari blogger and the founder of a human rights organization, was arrested on March 2 and is being detained incommunicado. Amnesty International reported, “He is at risk of torture or other ill-treatment. The reasons for his detention are unknown.”
After presenting comments by Najib al-Nuaimi, al-Khalaifi’s lawyer, Al-Jazeera reported, “The Qatari government could not be contacted for comment.”
What is not revealed in this propaganda piece masquerading as a news report is the fact that Al-Jazeera is an arm of the Qatari government.