Geneva – Experts and media officials criticized Qatar-based Al-Jazeera channel, accusing it of supporting violence and destabilizing the Middle East and the world, during a seminar organized by the Arab Federation for Human Rights at the headquarters of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on the sidelines of the 36th session of the Council.
The seminar was held to discuss “media and terrorism in the Middle East and the role of Qatar and its media in spreading hatred and violence in the region.”
“It is no longer acceptable for media institutions, including those financed by Qatar, such as Al-Jazeera, to be left out of account after everything they do in the region,” said Dr. Ahmed Hamli, founder, and president of the Arab Federation for Human Rights.
He stressed that the federation, which includes around 40 Arab organizations, “always encourages freedom of opinion and expression, but without disregarding the responsibilities of the media in maintaining national security and peace.”
He also pointed out that the laws of Western countries, which are known for their concern for freedom of information and expression, “never allow incitement to violence, hatred or murder.”
Prominent Journalist and Writer Abdulaziz Al-Khamis warned that terrorist operations were carried out with the support of media that incites violence.
“Many terrorist groups have links with Qatari-backed media, such as Al-Jazeera in Doha,” he said.
He gave an example of the relationship between Al-Jazeera and Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
“Al-Jazeera used to ask me, when I took part in interviews with them, to refer to Bin Laden as a sheikh,” he said, noting that the purpose behind this demand was to “sanctify Bin Laden”.
Commenting on the views of the speakers, former Yemeni Ambassador Ali Abdullah Al-Bajiri reviewed the impact of Al-Jazeera on his country.
He said: “(Al Jazeera) is only a trumpet of terrorism and there is no longer a need to demonstrate this; it presents only negativity and violence and offer no positivity”.