U.N. Expert: Al-Jazeera Should Not Be Closed in Qatar Standoff

U.N. Expert, Al-Jazeera, Closed, Qatar
The headquarters of Al Jazeera Media Network in Doha, Qatar. (Reuters/Naseem Zeitoon)

A U.N. human rights expert says it would be a “major blow against media pluralism” if Qatar shutters the Al-Jazeera network as demanded by other Arab states.

David Kaye says any such move by Qatar in exchange for a lifting of sanctions imposed by its neighbors would further dent media freedoms in a region that is “already suffering from severe restrictions on reporting and media.”

The demand is among 13 that Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates presented to Qatar as conditions for restoring air, sea and land traffic to the energy-rich Gulf country.

Kaye, the special rapporteur on freedom of expression and opinion, appealed to the international community “to urge these governments not to pursue this demand against Qatar.”

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