Qatar fires its second director of Doha Centre for Media Freedom

Former DCMF director Jan Keulen

After a couple of days of organising a forum on Qatari women in media, and getting everything set and ready to participate in the Global Forum for Media and Gender, organized by UNESCO next week in Bangkok, Qatar fires the person behind all this effort, the director of Doha Centre for Media Freedom, Mr Jan Keulen. Iqbal Tamimi, the Director of Arab Women Media Watch Centre in UK commented that this sad and unfortunate news has been confirmed by the Doha News in the following article 

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After a two-and-a-half-year run, the Dutch director of the Doha Centre for Media Freedom has been abruptly sacked, throwing the center’s mission and future into doubt.

Keulen confirmed that he had been fired, but declined to comment to Doha News on the matter.

However, in an email sent to colleagues on Thursday, Jan Keulen explained that the decision was conveyed to him on Wednesday by the center’s Executive Committee Chair, Dr. Abdul Jalil Alami.

Keulen is the second director of DCMF and also the second boss to be sacked since the organization was founded in 2008. His tenure, however, was markedly different than his predecessor, Frenchman Robert Ménard, who left in the summer of 2009.

At that time, Ménard, the founder of Reporters Without Borders, and three others submitted their resignations, citing problems with the government and saying that the center “has been suffocated. We no longer have either the freedom or resources to do our work.”

According to Global Voices, reaction to Ménard’s departure was mixed in Qatar, and many thought he had been pushing too hard for reform without taking the country’s cultural sensitivities into consideration.

Keulen, on the other hand, has been criticized for rarely pushing the envelope in Qatar.

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1 Comment

  1. Areej Abuqudairi March 13, 2014

    This is really sad news. Arab regimes are more scared of free media than others.

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