The Cabinet has given its nod to a draft law regulating press, publications, publishing, media activities and the arts, in support of the freedom of opinion and expression in the country.
The matter has been referred to the Shura Council, the official Qatar News Agency (QNA) reports.
The draft law has been prepared to replace Law No. 8 of 1979 on Publications and Publishing, and Decree Law No. 16 of 1993 regulating Advertising, Public Relations, and Artistic Production and Works.
“It comes within the context of updating legislation, keeping pace with technical and technological developments in the field of the press, publications, media activities and the arts, and supporting freedom of opinion and expression and freedom of the press and media in Qatar,” QNA states.
In an earlier report, QNA had said that Qatar “affirmed its keenness to support and develop the freedom of media, based on the political and social awareness of its people and its recognition of the right of its citizens to know the full truth”, and that the “State consolidated the citizens’ right to free and constructive media in a manner that distinguishes the truth from rumours and false and fabricated news”.
After HE the Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani chaired the regular Cabinet meeting at the Amiri Diwan Wednesday, HE the Minister of Justice and Acting Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Dr Issa bin Saad al-Jafali al-Nuaimi said the Cabinet - at the beginning of the meeting - condemned the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, which has continued since Tuesday morning and left a number of martyrs and injuries.
“The Cabinet called for urgent and decisive international intervention to stop this aggression and provide protection to the Palestinian people, blaming Israel for the serious repercussions that could result from its occupation of the Palestinian territories and terrorising innocent citizens,” QNA noted.
The Cabinet affirmed that Israel's repeated practices and violations of international law and resolutions of international legitimacy will only escalate tensions in the region and hinder efforts to resume the peace process, which cannot be achieved without enabling the Palestinian people to exercise their legitimate rights, first and foremost the right to establish an independent State on the borders of 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital, the report added.
The Cabinet also approved a draft law amending some provisions of Law No. 9 of 1987 on Control and Regulation of Narcotic Drugs and Dangerous Psychotropic Substances and Regulating their Trade and Use, and referred it to the Shura Council.
It gave its approval to a draft law amending some laws related to the Ministry of Public Health.
Further, the weekly meeting approved a draft decision of the Council of Ministers to issue the Charter of Integrity of Public Officials. The preparation of the draft decision seeks to achieve the highest indicators of transparency and integrity in the State and further protect public money.
The charter aims to promote the codes of conduct and the ethics of public service among public officials in the country.
The Cabinet also took the necessary action to ratify a Mutual Administrative Assistance Agreement to Enable the Application of the Customs Law and to Prevent and Investigate Crimes or Violations Pertinent to Customs between the governments of Qatar and The Gambia; and the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation.
In another measure, the Cabinet approved a draft memorandum of understanding for co-operation in the field of supervisory work between the State Audit Bureau of Qatar and the National Audit Bureau of Sudan.
It also gave its nod to a draft twinning agreement between Doha Municipality in Qatar and Mogadishu Municipality in Somalia.
The Cabinet reviewed Qatar’s national strategy in the field of artificial intelligence and decided that the Ministry of Transport and Communications will take the necessary measures to implement the strategy and its recommendations in co-ordination with the authorities concerned.
Also, the Cabinet reviewed the annual report and audited accounts of the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority and took the appropriate decision.