06 Jul 2017 - 10:01
Beware of rumours! There is no travel ban on Qataris or expatriates
06 Jul 2017 - 16:33
By The Peninsula Online
Doha: Some media outlets in UAE are trying to create confusion among family and relatives of expatriates working in Qatar by publishing malicious and fake news.
The latest among these fake news is the claim that Qatar has banned its citizens and expatriates from leaving the country.
English Daily published from UAE, Khaleej Times, published on July 3 that “All leaves prior to the Eid Al Fitr holidays had been cancelled for residents, especially for those working in the public sector, including hospitals. The ban has later been extended to cover several other sectors.”
If they had checked with anyone in Qatar they would have known how untrue this is. Or if they had visited Hamad International Airport on the first day of Eid or a few days before, they could have seen the rush themselves. There were large queues outside every airline counters due to summer and Eid holidays rush. But then they would have reported it as an exodus from Qatar. They need to twist the news this way or that.
A few weeks back when the blockade started Reuters had filed a report saying Qatar Petroleum has cancelled staff holidays and their exit permits.
Qatar Petroleum had denied this saying no expatriate or national employees in Qatar Petroleum or its subsidiaries have been denied leave or exit permits. However, due to the current embargo imposed by some neighbouring countries, a few selected critical employees may have been asked to postpone their leave for operational reasons.
“This is a very limited measure that could take place in any oil and gas operating company should an operational need arise to ensure uninterrupted energy supplies to all our customers across the world,” the company added.
The Khaleej Times report gets very hilarious and goes on to write that “the strict domestic security measures have bothered Qatari citizens since there are non-Qatari forces patrolling the tiny emirate and guarding the critical buildings. There are checkpoints everywhere.”
This is the biggest joke of the century as after reading this we roamed all around Qatar to find even one checkpoint. We are sorry Khaleej Times, there isn’t any.
Al Jazeera English has published a nice video explaining a few of these malicious stories. See the video here.
Many Arabic dailies and websites were printing such malicious and completely fake news from Saudi Arabia and UAE. Looks like now English newspapers have joined them.
This report was picked up by some Indian dailies like Economic Times and websites like FirstPost and many concerned Indian expats and their families, who are on holiday in India, contacted The Peninsula for clarification.
This could have been avoided had the Indian media had contacted someone from Qatar before printing the news.
They had earlier published news saying India is sending planes for evacuation and later the Indian foreign ministry clarified in their regular briefing that it was not evacuation only a response to seasonal rush.