Dubai TV airs ‘fake news’ about rallies, curfew in Doha

Qatar dismisses false report by UAE channel claiming anti-government protests took place with demonstrators teargassed.

dubai tv fake news
The Dubai TV presenter claimed protesters in Doha were teargassed, a report dismissed by Qatar as 'fake news' [Twitter/Dubai TV]

Dubai TV has aired a false report claiming anti-government demonstrations took place in Doha, Qatar, and alleged that troops – including soldiers from Turkey – sprayed tear gas at protesters.

Qatar’s government press office on Tuesday dismissed the report as “fake news” in a statement sent to Al Jazeera, a day after the broadcast which has now been circulated online.

Monday’s report by the Emirati channel came as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain continue a blockade against their Gulf neighbour, Qatar. The trio alleges that Doha supports “terrorism”, claims Qatar strongly denies.

“This is just the latest example of fake news created by the blockading countries,” Saif Al Thani, director of Qatar’s government press office, told Al Jazeera.

“The blockading countries are becoming increasingly desperate in their efforts to isolate Qatar because the international community has not been fooled by the smear campaign. They are now continuing their focus on public opinion; they are spending millions on creating fake news.”


Doha-based Twitter user @JnAlMarri tweeted the clip of the false report, saying: “What does media in Qatar have to say about this? For God’s sake, who is willing to believe this?” His tweet has been shared almost 1,000 times.

In the broadcast, reporter Maryam Al Awadhi says: “Turkish troops have been deployed on key street intersections of Doha, Qatar, in response to demonstrations by Qatari citizens.”

The Dubai TV presenter claimed to base her reporting on “sources within the Qatari opposition”.

A “curfew” was imposed on several parts of Doha after Qatari and Turkish troops fired tear gas at protesters, the report incorrectly claimed.

A Qatari government official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to media, told Al Jazeera: “It is obvious that this report is fiction and is part of a bucket of lies the blockading countries have been spreading against Qatar.”

Earlier this week, Qatar filed a complaint with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) after a Dubai-based Saudi-owned channel, Al Arabiya TV, aired a video animation showing a Qatar Airways passenger jet being shot down.

That video speculated that in the event of a Qatari civilian jet accidentally travelling through Saudi airspace – which was closed after the blockade was announced in June, the kingdom’s air force would be covered by international law to bring down or even shoot down the civilian aircraft.

Follow Ali Younes on Twitter: @ali_reports

Source: Al Jazeera