World News

Arab nations demand to close Quatar's Al-Jazeera unacceptable:UN

The United Nations termed the demand made by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain to close the channel as a violation of freedom of expression and opinion.

Published: 01st July 2017 08:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st July 2017 08:37 AM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose only


GENEVA: The UN Human Rights said that the demand by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain for Qatar to close its Al-Jazeera television channel as a condition for normalizing relations is an unacceptable attack on freedom of expression and opinion.

"Whether or not you watch it, like it, or agree with its editorial standpoints, Al Jazeera's Arabic and English channels are legitimate, and have many millions of viewers. The demand that they be summarily closed down is, in our view, an unacceptable attack on the right to freedom of expression and opinion," Efe news quoted the office spokesman Rupert Colville as saying on Friday.

The UN Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, "has been raising concerns" about the closure of the Qatari station and affiliated media, the spokesman continued.

"If States have an issue with items broadcast on other countries' television channels, they are at liberty to publicly debate and dispute them. To insist that such channels be shut down is extraordinary, unprecedented and clearly unreasonable," Colville said.

He explained that during the last three weeks the office has expressed its concern, both publicly and directly with the relevant countries, about the problems of fundamental freedoms that could generate from the dispute with Qatar.

"The High Commissioner therefore once again urges all five States to take measures to solve this dispute in a calm, reasonable and lawful manner, and to ensure that any actions they take do not impact on the human rights of their own and other countries' citizens and residents," the spokesman added.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.