DCMF tremantes Robert Ménard services
DOHA: Doha Centre for Media Freedom has announced yesterday that it has terminated the services of Robert Ménard, director-general of the Centre beginning from June.
The decision was taken following Ménard’s announcement that he had quit his post and left Doha. The statement added that Doha Centre for Media Freedom will continue carrying out its mission in institutional manner and as per its by-laws. QNA/THE PENINSULA
another purpose which relates to PDAs of certain parts of the anatomy :-)
I refuse to drink the kool-aid! -- PM
Isn't it blindingly obvious that when foreigners are imported to do work, it is to FIX/ADDRESS/RECTIFY/PREVENT problems that do/likely to exist in Qatar?
Surely the mass ex-pat population is evidence enough that there is work to be done???
But the ex-pats are supposed to just to just pretend that we're all here for the weather??????
The idea that because we come here to do a job and therefore owe Qatar, not our best effort but rather make them look good is not helping anyone. I think this attitude of people who seem to feel oppressively subservient to some kind of superior master tribe isn't helping Qatar in the long run.
But what do I know? :-)
I refuse to drink the kool-aid! -- PM
Perhaps they have taken the site down so that Menard's resignation letter no longer comes up in searches.
It is still cached by Google (http://126.96.36.199/search?q=cache:http://www.dohacentre.org/Robert-Menard-leaves-Doha-Centre,1931.html)
Here's the full text for those who didn't get a chance to read it before it went offline:
Robert Ménard and his team have left the Doha Centre for Media Freedom. "The Centre has been suffocated. We no longer have either the freedom or the resources to do our work", he explained.
"For several months we have made an independent voice heard, one that has exposed violence with concern for nothing but the truth. We have helped more than 250 endangered journalists and media all over the world, and I think we can be proud of that.
"But some Qatari officials never wanted an independent Centre, free to speak out without concern for politics or diplomacy, free to criticise even Qatar. How can we have any credibility if we keep quiet about problems in the country that is our host? Now the Centre has been suffocated. We no longer have either the freedom or the resources to do our work. This cannot go on. I was willing to make any necessary compromises as long as the foundations of our work – assistance grants, statements of opinion - were safeguarded. But that is no longer the case."Ménard went on: "This is a pity, especially as media freedom is particularly threatened in this part of the world. More than 30 journalists are currently imprisoned in the Middle East and North Africa. Since the start of the year, several journalists have been killed in the region: in Iraq, Iran and the Palestinian Territories. The Centre was always there to give assistance to families, pay lawyers’ fees and help those who wanted to travel to less dangerous areas.
"It was the first time that an international organisation for the defence of media freedom had been set up in a country outside the West. It was made possible by the Emir and his wife Sheikha Mozah. Thanks to them, we have completed projects such as starting an independent news agency for Somali journalists, providing bulletproof jackets in Somalia, Iraq and Pakistan, opening a press centre in Gaza, supplying newsprint to newspapers in Guinea-Bissau. Our work has not been in vain, and we can only hope it will be continued in some way."Ménard spoke about the obstacles encountered by the Centre and pointed to those responsible, particularly Sheikh Hamad bin Thamer Al Thani, who is also President of the Board of Al Jazeera: "Those who have caused us problems do not accept the idea of our independence and freedom of speech. They constantly put obstables in our way, thereby going against the commitments we have made.
"For example, Centre staff were prevented from leaving the country temporarily and had to apply for a permit whenever they needed to travel. Sheikh Hamad refused to sign administrative documents that would have enabled the Centre to take in journalists under threat in their own countries, as originally planned. His office told us recently that giving shelter to journalists from countries such as Iran might go against Qatar’s diplomatic interests. This confirmed that the Centre’s independence was, in his eyes, a myth.
"Sheikh Hamad also tried to enforce new internal regulations, in violation of the Centre’s statutes and with a view to keeping tighter control over how the Centre was run. He would have had the power to censor the Centre’s statements. Finally, payment of the Centre’s budget, scheduled for 1 April, has been continually delayed and we are now unable to answer appeals from journalists in danger, in Pakistan, Somalia and elsewhere.
"Returning to more basic matters, Qatar has still not ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, despite frequent promises. And the committee that was supposed to discuss a new law on the media - and on which we had been invited to sit - has still not held any meetings." Ménard concluded: "I do not doubt the sincerity of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah and her determination to advance the cause of freedom, especially media freedom. But she is not alone. And those who prefer to retain the status quo are many, powerful and obstinate.
"No-one but her would have dared imagine a Centre like the one we have built here. Maybe Sheikha Mozah is too far ahead of her fellow citizens, too ’modern’ for political figures attached to the status quo, too aware of the challenges in this world for dignitaries concerned only with their own interests."
The heads of the assistance, research and communications departments have also left the Centre. The Doha Centre for Media Freedom was set up on the initiative of Sheikha Mozah and Reporters Without Borders in December 2007. Ménard, who became director-general on 1 April 2008, was the founder of Reporters Without Borders, which he headed for 23 years until 1 October 2008.
DCMF site under minitinance, go figure it! :)
Your last paragraph sums it all
You're saying it's Ménard's fault for listening to the ruling family’s sweet talk? he should've subscribed to Qatarliving before packing and moving here, but he was so decided and allured by the financial package, I think?
About Sheikha Mozah's vision, at least the First Lady chose not to be the shadow of her man, even if she's infatuated by glitter and glamour, she's applauded for placing Qatar on the map, next step is actual hardcore work.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Qatari and have issues with Qatar's foreign policy in the region, so no need for hostility please.
Does Qatar really need a newspaper? I don't think so. Qatar has Qatarliving.com
(And even that is 'censored')
The whole fate of this state is "squeezed between Mozah's vision for Qatar and the PM's realpolitik", witnessed by mute and powerless citizens!
He was a misguided soul. A few conversations with Sheikha Mozah convinced him that Qatar was an oasis of press freedom within the Gulf, or at least that he was pushing against an open door when he argued for greater freedoms.
His demise and the fate of the Doha Centre was not recent, but was set in train at the end of last year.
On 10 November 2008, DCMF sent out a press release calling for the scrapping of the 1979 Press Law. I wrote about it at the time here, as many journalists I knew were annoyed with the tone of the release.
At 8.00pm that evening, every newspaper was contacted by the Prime Minister's office who demanded the story shouldn't be run.
That was the end of the DCMF. Squeezed between Mozah's vision for Qatar and the the PM's realpolitik.
The author of "The Censure of Right-thinking People" could never excel in a country like the one Qatar is still today!
I interpreted within my own culture, which means to reengineer, to get rid of the old and start from scratch – and that my friend, is what I meant Qatar ain’t no ready for it!
The organisation he co-founded: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reporters_Without_Borders
What's the big deal with this Menard fella? Did he do somethin' bad coz I once read a newspaper (once being my monthly frequency of reading) and some qatari journalist was practically bitch slappin' Menard for inviting the Dutch cartoonist who drew the pictures of Mohamed, the prophet. Well dunno about you guys, but if this Menard fella really did invite the Dutch cartoonist to this country then I understand why he "quit on his own without any coersion whatsoever :D".
i think it's you who misunderstood Happy's comment. The phrase is an Arabic idiom that means if you break a china after someone leaves, he will never come back.
hehehehe... Qatar is far from being ready to "break any china" or even to understand its meaning!
Ok, let's break some china/pottery now that he's gone, if you know what that means, culturally.
the oil and gas are gifts of mother nature to the world, not to a specific tribe or nation!
Can we make sense and stick to thread debate?
No one owe someone else anything, we exchange the money, cultures ..etc.
I think he is somehow pretentious and usually authoritarian.
in general, working in press and media field is risky and everybody is targeted if not gives others the freedom of speech.
I wish him very good luck
anyway, we and I, expatriates, owe this Arab state a lot of things. We should remember it always with good.
Very true, this is the funny part about the news, LOL!
Maybe not, it will all depend how he will cover his experience in Doha.
You can always get it when you travel abroad or ask a friend to bring it in. Usually there is no control for books at the airport.
do you think it will ever be released here? My last package from AMAZON was confiscated by Ministry of Information,Just because of some ART books for my wife…
It will certainly steer some dust here ;)
Robert Ménard is currently working on a book of his hopes and troubles in the Gulf region. Now here's a book i can't wait to read...
LOL... saving face is a prime concern here!!!!!!!!!
LOL... saving face its a prime concern here!!!!!!!!!
is it possible to terminate a person once he has quit?