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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Qatar judge issues publication ban during Aqua Park drowning trial

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Aqua Park
Aqua Park

Citing “humanitarian reasons,” a lower criminal court judge in Doha has ordered journalists to stop reporting on a case involving a young Palestinian boy who drowned at a Qatar water park in 2012.

The judge issued the ban at the request of the victim’s sister during a court session yesterday. She said that media coverage of the legal proceedings was hurting her family by reminding them of their loss.

Lower criminal court in Doha
Lower criminal court in Doha

This appears to be one of the first times in recent years that such a reason has been used as justification for preventing the details of a case from being reported.

Three individuals and two companies are on trial for involuntary manslaughter in connection with the child’s death.

They are accused of recklessly failing to properly perform their duties at the Aqua Park, which is located approximately 40km from Doha.

Following the court session, the judge told reporters that he was ordering the publication ban in an effort to protect the family’s feelings.

Journalists will be allowed to attend the hearings, but may not publish any witness testimony until a verdict is issued.

Precedent

Though the media is usually allowed to report on criminal trials in Qatar, sweeping publication bans are occasionally imposed. In 2013, Doha News was prevented from reporting the proceedings of several hearings about the fatal Villaggio Mall fire.

Aftermath of last year's explosion at Istanbul restaurant.
Aftermath of last year\’s explosion at Istanbul restaurant.

And last year, Qatar’s attorney general issued a temporary ban on coverage of the Istanbul Restaurant gas explosion during the investigation phase, ahead of the trial.

Judges will also sometimes place bans on publishing specific witness testimony or graphic pieces of evidence.

Far more frequently, however, these officials turn down requests by lawyers to bar journalists from reporting on a trial.

For example, the same judge hearing the Aqua Park case rejected a defense attorney’s plea to issue a publication ban on the trial of a Moroccan man charged with stabbing another expat to death with a sword.

And other judges overseeing the ongoing Villaggio Mall fire appeal have consistently refused to issue publication bans requested by defense lawyers, arguing that the sessions are “public hearings.”

Previous testimony

The defendants charged in connection with the Aqua Park drowning include an administrative supervisor and two contractors – a lifeguard and a Doha Clinic paramedic.

Aqua Park
Aqua Park

The facility’s owner, Hala Co. for Projects Aqua Park, is also named as a defendant, as is Kuwait-based Al Jazeera Co. for Commercial Projects, which is contracted to manage the property.

All have pled not guilty.

During a hearing last month, witnesses testified that several things went wrong the day the boy drowned on May 4, 2012, raising the possibility that multiple factors – including inadequate supervision – contributed to the victim’s death.

The next hearing is scheduled for May 24.

Thoughts?

50 COMMENTS

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Talal Mousa
Talal Mousa
6 years ago

seriously this water park is a joke.. It shows that there was no effort made on this project whatsoever like all projects in the country!

Official
Official
6 years ago
Reply to  Talal Mousa

Yeah, everything in this country sucks!

Omar
Omar
6 years ago
Reply to  Official

Leave 🙂

Guest
Guest
6 years ago
Reply to  Omar

He cannot get out.

Proud _Filipina1984
Proud _Filipina1984
6 years ago
Reply to  Guest

go to embassy

AEC
AEC
6 years ago

A lot of nationals here do not have an embassy.

Proud _Filipina1984
Proud _Filipina1984
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

its their fault.
Why did they took the risk to travel and work to another country without thinking about it first?
there is HUMAN RIGHTS DEPARTMENT for EXPATS its in C-RING ROAD I think.

CAF
CAF
6 years ago
Reply to  Omar

Needs permission from his employer or he would

Proud _Filipina1984
Proud _Filipina1984
6 years ago
Reply to  CAF

resign.

CAF
CAF
6 years ago

The employer didn’t accept their resignation and now they will have to work their contract and then will not issue an NOC and thus be banned for 2yrs.

Proud _Filipina1984
Proud _Filipina1984
6 years ago
Reply to  Official

so leave and go back to your country.

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
6 years ago
Reply to  Official

Deleting this thread of being all personal attacks.

ya-wa9i5
ya-wa9i5
6 years ago
Reply to  Talal Mousa

I heard things are all good back in Zalama Land.

Proud _Filipina1984
Proud _Filipina1984
6 years ago

@DohaNews- Please respect….the victims are already asking for their privacy,
sometimes the media tend to push their freedom of speech to the extent that they don’t care to its consequences or to anybody at all.

The Avenger
The Avenger
6 years ago

So it’s freedom of speech until you dont agree with it yes ?

Proud _Filipina1984
Proud _Filipina1984
6 years ago
Reply to  The Avenger

Freedom of Speech doesn’t need to go further when somebody felt and found it oppressive. It comes with responsibilities. Freedom should be coordinated with RESPECT.

Coco
Coco
6 years ago

Actually freedom of speech is the freedom to offend and not show any respect. That’s the beauty of it, if you want to defend it you also have to defend the ideas you don’t like. There’s no “but” when it comes to it.

Proud _Filipina1984
Proud _Filipina1984
6 years ago
Reply to  Coco

I can’t see any BEAUTY in oppression or disrespect…. I see,A VICTIM first, asking for a comfort and privacy than thinking myself EXPRESSING FREEDOM OF SPEECH. This is how cruel this world is now.

Coco
Coco
6 years ago

Ok….calm down…you have a right to your opinion but keep it as such. Don’t bring in your thoughts on freedom of speech into it. Nor you, me or anyone else have a claim on where freedom starts and where it ends. Once your veins relax a bit read again what I said and try to see that no one is against their right to privacy. If all else fails a drawing with arrows can be provided.

Proud _Filipina1984
Proud _Filipina1984
6 years ago
Reply to  Coco

nobody’s claiming, my dear. Freedom of Speech is Freedom of Speech.
But There is no BEAUTY in offending or showing disrespect.

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago

I am deeply offended by patronizing language – how dare you call him ‘my dear’? I trust that you will be apologizing for such a demeaning manner of address? I suggest that you practice the beauty that you speak.

Anyway, What you find disrespectful I find beautiful. You have zero right not to be offended, but you do have the opportunity not to listen. You are free to exercise it whenever you wish.

Coco
Coco
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

If you listen closely you can almost hear the deer caught in the headlight look on her face 🙂

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  Coco

Yep

Proud _Filipina1984
Proud _Filipina1984
6 years ago
Reply to  Coco

IF a deer was caught in the headlight, U can’t hear anything closely. Coz right after the light catches it, it will avoid anybody who will come closer to it. 🙂
is this a metaphor? LOL

Coco
Coco
6 years ago

It’s like you’re asking me to link you to the stereotypical flirty filipina that smiles without meaning trying to impress the white anglo-saxon construction worker. I’m not from that category, nor do I have an asian fetish and thus have no reason not to call you on it. You make no sense, yet you feel you have the right for a high pitched opinion that everyone should agree to. I’m done with this argument, or should I say monologue.

Proud _Filipina1984
Proud _Filipina1984
6 years ago
Reply to  Coco

🙂

The Topic is up there.
And God Bless you.

Proud _Filipina1984
Proud _Filipina1984
6 years ago
Reply to  Coco

Thank you Mr. Coco.
The Good Thing is that Half of my Blood is Qatari.
And I can see your reflection as well as the goodness in your tongue with everything you wrote,
God Bless you and May the Freedom of Speech be with you.

QTR2010
QTR2010
6 years ago
Reply to  Coco

Coco

She has a point and She nailed you.
That’s it, Brother!

Coco
Coco
6 years ago
Reply to  QTR2010

I would rephrase that as it might lead to confusion 🙂

Proud _Filipina1984
Proud _Filipina1984
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

excuse me?
Offended who? Can u read again?
I am not speaking out for myself.
If u read the article we are discussing about the “Victim’s request”
Demeaning Manner of Address? we are in GULF honey.
anybody can call anyone with beautiful words such as “Dear” rather than other names.
You are funny by the way.

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago

Okay sugar cakes, if you say so. 😉

Guest
Guest
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

nobody’s claiming, my dear. Freedom of Speech is Freedom of Speech.
But There is no BEAUTY in offending or showing disrespect ” TO THE VICTIM”

Please read the “ARTICLE”

The judge issued the ban at the request of the victim’s sister during a court session yesterday. She said that media coverage of the legal proceedings was hurting her family by reminding them of their loss.”

Proud _Filipina1984
Proud _Filipina1984
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

The judge issued the ban at the request of the victim’s sister during a court session yesterday. She said that media coverage of the legal proceedings was hurting her family by reminding them of their loss.”

nobody’s claiming, my dear. Freedom of Speech is Freedom of Speech.
But There is no BEAUTY in offending or showing disrespect “FOR THE VICTIM”

🙂

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago

That completely changes your comment, then. Hard to disagree with such a sentiment there sweet cheeks.

Proud _Filipina1984
Proud _Filipina1984
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

Please read and analyze before commenting 🙂

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago

Oh, I did missy, and I stand my interpretation of your first comment, sans the later addition.

Proud _Filipina1984
Proud _Filipina1984
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

🙂

Proud _Filipina1984
Proud _Filipina1984
6 years ago
Reply to  Coco

I believe JOURNALIST ARE SMART and INTELLIGENT PEOPLE….
Somewhat ….

Coco
Coco
6 years ago

I have no claims of being either smart or wise…and posting a pic of a quote is neither.

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
6 years ago

We wrote this story – which omits all the testimony that was heard yesterday – to explain why we won’t be publishing any developments on the case. We also thought residents would be interested to hear about this ban as they are rather uncommon here.

Proud _Filipina1984
Proud _Filipina1984
6 years ago
Reply to  ShabinaKhatri

“The judge issued the ban at the request of the victim’s sister during a court session yesterday. She said that media coverage of the legal proceedings was hurting her family by reminding them of their loss.”

I just felt her….did you? 🙂

Gdoha
Gdoha
6 years ago

the ban was issued… yet Doha News proudly writes about it !!! hmmmmmm

Big B
Big B
6 years ago
Reply to  Gdoha

technically DN is not reporting about the case but the verdict given by a judge on a particular case

Proud _Filipina1984
Proud _Filipina1984
6 years ago
Reply to  Big B

its still in connection with the child’s death.

DarkQTR
DarkQTR
6 years ago

^ This

CeeCee
CeeCee
6 years ago

It seems the family does not want evidence highlighted in the media that suggests they failed to provide adequate supervision for the young child. A ‘sister’ is mentioned in previous reports as being someone of interest who was supposed to be supervising the boy. I thought it was common knowledge around the world that a child should not be left unsupervised near a body of water (even a bathtub) and whether or not there are lifeguards is irrelevant to parental responsibility. The fact that someone would leave their child at a water park ‘assuming’ they would be babysat by a lifeguard is unconscionable. My heart truly aches for this family. But I encourage them to own up to their responsibility and stop blaming others for their mistake.

The Avenger
The Avenger
6 years ago
Reply to  CeeCee

Responsibility and accountability in this part of the world is a dirty word . Why be accountable for your actions when your culture dictates there’s always something else or someone to blame !

Maryam
Maryam
6 years ago

I think that by Doha news publishing this has gone against what the judge has said. Please respect the individual’s privacy. Hasbi Allah wa naemal wakil

Salama
Salama
6 years ago

I hope its out of respect for the family who has had to suffer enough till justice takes its course

Guest
Guest
6 years ago
Reply to  Salama

I hope the same and its not just the worry from negative publicity.

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