Sunday, 30 September 2007


I suppose I’m going to have to word this one very carefully.

The head of Dubai police is quoted extensively today in Gulf News ‘warning against misinterpretation of the instructions concerning banning of detention of journalists working in the country’. The language, I hasten to add, is GN’s, not mine.

Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim is quoted by GN: ‘…jounalists who do not do their job according to the norms of their profession will not be immune from punishment as per the law. And those found abusing the immunity will not be tolerated.’

Gulf News also reports Tamim as saying that journalists who undermine others and distribute baseless accusations against people and slander their reputation without the support of substantial evidence will be punished in accordance with the law.

Just in case someone out there finds this confusing, the piece ends with the following quote from the good general: ‘The immunity against imprisonment is limited to journalists doing their job when they report factual incidents. The immunity will not be enforced in case they harm others while expressing their personal views.’

For some reason this ‘clarification’ wasn’t splashed by every newspaper, as was the original statement from His Highness. This is a shame, as it is an important statement from the head of the police that should leave nobody in any doubt as to where they stand.

1 comment:

farrukh: copywriter & journalist said...

I guess as long as journalists write about facts/events, things will be just fine. Opinion is another matter.

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