Did Qatar Govt. Force Feminists to Close Their Accounts on Twitter?

Published August 8th, 2019 - 12:33 GMT


Controversy over a couple of Qatari feminist accounts has been ongoing on Twitter for the past week particularly after the accounts were suspended.


The story started when a Mariam AlHajri, a Qatari activist and feminist tweeted congratulating Saudi women for the reforms announced by the government last week granting women in the Kingdom freedom to travel by themselves without a male consent as before.

Al Hajiri then has prompted hashtag “Women Rights in Qatar” encouraging Qataris to call out the discriminatory laws that hold Qatar women back from practicing their freedom in traveling or taking their own decisions.

Translation: “I hope Qatar is next, as [Qatar] have its own law that limits women freedoms for weird reasons; such as the Qatari society, as if we are actually living in a democracy and people’s opinions matter!  #حقوق_المرأة_القطرية It’s our turn to go for it until we get back our rights!”

The hashtag went viral and Qataris jumped on the story.

Meanwhile, one account named “Qatari Feminists” has gone viral on Twitter discussing the Qatari women rights demanding more freedoms shortly before it was closed.

Translation: “Why did you close this account?”

According to some activists on social media, the women behind the account were called by the police along with their families and forced to close the account.

Translation: “The police called those behind the account and they clearly closed it out of fear. Pray for them to be fine.”

In response, Mariam Al Hajri, who first prompted the conversation on women rights in the country has denounced those women and shared a couple of suspicious accounts that emerged on Twitter with the hashtag “Qatari Feminist” as part of it prompting questions if there were fake or electronic bots.

Translation: “A couple of fake accounts have emerged claiming to be Qatari feminists, which in fact have nothing to do with our issues and are misleading and lying.”

While there was no official statement from the Qatari authorities nor women rights organizations in the country, details behind what actually has happened are still not clear.


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