Doha News, Qatar’s leading independent English-language, has announced that it will downsize its operations after its website became blocked in the Wahhabi kingdom less than a week ago.
Doha News, in a statement released on Sunday, condemned the move as “an intentional act, in part due to issues with our licensing.”
“In the interest of protecting our team, we will be reducing the number of articles we publish until we can resolve the problem and get dohanews.co unblocked,” the website said.
“At the same time, we reject the idea that our news website should be blocked over licensing concerns – this is a clear act of censorship, and a fairly unprecedented one in Qatar,” it pointed out.
James Lynch, Amnesty International’s deputy director for global issues, has censured the blocking of Doha News website as “an alarming setback for freedom of expression” and “an outright attack on media freedom” in Qatar.
He added that Qatari authorities have “specifically targeted a key source of independent and credible journalism in the country, which has played an important role in fostering dialogue and discussion about social and political issues that affect people in Qatar.”