Manama, Bahrain Journalists Association (BJA) has condemned the arrest of two Norwegian journalists by Qatari officials for reporting on the treatment of foreign workers ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The BJA said it considered that such practices disprove the allegations of the authorities in Qatar that they respected freedom of the press and media and allowed journalists to carry out their work without any restrictions or intimidation.
In a statement, the BJA stressed that Qatar pursued and punished journalists who try to cover the grave violations committed by the Qatari authorities against foreign workers used to build World Cup facilities in an attempt to hide the abuses that claimed the lives of hundreds of workers.
The violations are well documented by United Nations reports and international human rights organizations, the BJA added.
The association, the umbrella for Bahrain-based journalists, condemned the repressive practices of the Qatari authorities against the press and journalists and the restrictions on the freedom of opinion and expression.
A blatant case of restriction on the freedom of opinion is the imposition of a blackout on the Al Marra tribe’s protests against discrimination and on the arrest of a number of its members amid complete silence by the Qatari media, especially Al Jazeera that often claims freedom in covering events.
The BJA called on the international organizations concerned with freedom of opinion and expression to reject such repressive Qatari practices, which are not the first of their kind.
The association pointed out to how Norway and some other countries affirmed in their rejection of these Qatari practices and the need for Qatar to adhere to freedom of opinion and expression and to provide the appropriate settings for journalists to perform their tasks.
The BJA expressed its solidarity with, and support for, such calls and positions that enhance freedom of opinion and expression.
Source: Bahrain News Agency