Qatari NGO Pleads for Reinstatement of Formerly Deported Journalist

Qatar revokes nationality of independent journalist for criticising government taxes

On January 25 2023, Global Campaign for Human Right’s (GCHR) statement revealed that Faray Mezher al Shammari, an independent journalist from Qatar, was deported 24 years ago to Saudi Arabia without any nationality for having criticized the introduction of taxes in Qatar.

According to the GCHR, Al Shammari published an article on June 15, 1999 in his weekly column in the Qatari daily Al Raya, in which he questioned the slow approval of the Emir for exemption for people of low-income. The following day, he was summoned by the Passport Office and his identity card was withdrawn and his family was also deported without any explanation.

According to official sources, Al Shammari and his family were held in the deportation prison for three months and then were deported to Saudi Arabia even though he had published an apology for his article. The only reason for his deportation was his article, in which he referred to the slow arrival of the approval of the Emir for the poor from the new taxes.

GCHR has urged the Qatari government to restaur citizenship to Al Shammari and all the members of his family and to compensate them for the physical and psychological damage. The NGO also urges Qatar to resolve the chronic problem of revoking nationals without valid reason.

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