Qatar blocks popular news site Doha News
The popular independent online news portal Doha News in Qatar says its website has been blocked inside the oil-rich country.
According to Doha News site, the two prominent internet service providers of the country simultaneously blocked the site. They alleged that it was in compliance with the order of government regulators.
The 2022 Soccer World Cup host received much scrutiny from media and human rights group after it won the ticket for hosts.
Earlier this year Doha News had published several articles which might have offended the authorities. They said most online users had been unable to access the site for the last 24 hours.
“We can only conclude that our website has been deliberately targeted and blocked by Qatar authorities,” the website’s management read.
“We are incredibly disappointed with this decision, which appears to be an act of censorship.”
“We believe strongly in the importance of a free press, and are saddened that Qatar, home of the Doha Center for Media Freedom and Al-Jazeera, has decided to take this step.”
The website claims that they have around one million unique users, which was blocked by internet providers Ooredoo and Vodafone.
Access was blocked on mobiles and computers, although some people could still visit the site using a virtual private network (VPN).
The website then created another domain name for its readers, but that too stopped working.
Doha News published an editorial which accused the Qatar’s cybercrime law was being used to silence people two months ago. In the summer, they carried an article by an anonymous gay Qatari man. Homosexuality is illegal in the emirate.
The oil-rich nation is the home of international news broadcaster Al-Jazeera, which strongly voices for freedom of speech and expression. Authorities became wary of its reporting and ended its operations in other countries.
Their three journalists were jailed in Egypt in 2013.