Reliable sources revealed that the UAE incited European press associations to engage in an attack campaign against Qatar on the sidelines of Doha hosting the 2022 World Cup.
The sources told Emirates Leaks that the Emirati campaign of incitement is led by the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Emirates Journalists Association, Mohammed Al Hammadi.
The sources stated that Al Hammadi opened secret communication channels a few weeks ago with some journalists’ unions in some European countries, led by Finland and Norway.
According to the sources, Al-Hammadi held secret meetings with Hege Iren Frantzen, head of the Norwegian Journalists Union, and Hanne Aho, head of the Syndicate of Journalists in Finland, to coordinate attacks against Qatar and tarnish its image before hosting the World Cup.
Al Hammadi tried to entice the heads of the Finnish and Norwegian Federations of Journalists to influence the Federation of Journalists in Asia and Africa to engage in the Abu Dhabi campaign against Qatar.
According to the sources, Al-Hammadi asked for the influence of the Finnish and Norwegian Federations of Journalists on journalist unions that he supports financially to engage in the Abu Dhabi campaign and offend Qatar.
Al Hammadi established a reciprocal hotline with the heads of the Finnish and Norwegian Federations of Journalists in return for offering them financial bribes and expensive gifts if Abu Dhabi’s inflammatory goals were achieved.
Suspicious movements were monitored by the heads of the Finnish and Norwegian Federations of Journalists in the recent period, including sending inflammatory messages against Qatar to Asian and African press unions.
These moves sparked anger among journalists, unions and press unions against the backdrop of Finnish and Norwegian cooperation with the UAE in light of its black record in media freedoms.
Those circles demanded to break any relations with the Emirates Journalists Association in response to its role in covering up the systematic government violations against journalists in the UAE and suppressing freedom of opinion and expression.
Commentators have highlighted that the security mentality dominates the UAE in dealing with the media and freedom of opinion and expression through a series of laws that represent a sword wielded over everyone who expresses his opinion on the internal or foreign policy of the state.
On April 20, Reporters Without Borders ranked the UAE low in the World Press Index for the year 2021.
The organization highlighted the reality of “the absence of an independent press and the pursuit of dissenting voices” in the UAE, which ranked 131st out of 180 countries.
“The UAE has become an expert in cyber monitoring of journalists, who are regularly targeted by the regime through the Cybercrime Law (2012),” the organization said.
“Media people and bloggers in the UAE find themselves under the microscope of the authorities as soon as they make a comment that contains some criticism,” it added.
It stated that they are usually accused of defamation, insulting the state, or publishing false information to discredit the country, as harsh sentences await them for long prison terms, knowing that some are subjected to ill-treatment while in detention.
In early June, the African Journalists Union blew up a new scandal for the UAE about its incitement of press unions to boycott the World Cup tournament scheduled in Qatar.
In a statement obtained by Emirates Leaks, the Union of African Journalists condemned the UAE’s intervention and contact with African press unions to boycott the World Cup in Qatar and incite against Doha.
“We strongly condemn the UAE’s attempts to manipulate journalists’ organizations in Africa to issue public statements or campaign against the 2022 FIFA World Cup that Qatar will host,” the statement said.
The statement rejected the UAE’s attempts to involve journalists in Africa in political disputes and manipulate them and their organizations in connection with the 2022 FIFA World Cup organization in Qatar.