KSA hits back at Qatar tennis ‘smear campaign’

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A beautQ gadget is shown in this image shared on social media. (Twitter photo)
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Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Media announced it has become aware of inaccurate and irresponsible accusations made by the Wimbledon Championships regarding piracy when broadcasting beoutQ.
Updated 08 July 2018

KSA hits back at Qatar tennis ‘smear campaign’

  • Wimbledon should have checked first instead of parotting allegations emanating from Al Jazeera Media Network and its subsidiary beIN Sports,” which are biased, says Saudi Media Ministry.
  • Given Al-Jazeera’s known role in supporting terrorism and its inability to provide any media content in KSA, the ministry urged sports associations to end their ties with beIN Sports and other Al-Jazeera entities.

JEDDAH: Qatar was accused on Saturday of using world tennis authorities to pursue a smear campaign against Saudi Arabia. 

Riyadh denied allegations that a television channel illegally showing Wimbledon tennis matches is based in the Kingdom. 

A statement issued on the Wimbledon website called for the immediate closure of beoutQ for broadcasting tennis without the right to do so.

“Wimbledon’s press release baselessly claims that beoutQ is based in Saudi Arabia and suggests that Saudi Arabia is somehow complicit in beoutQ’s broadcasts,” Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Media said.

It said Saudi Arabia had “relentlessly” combated beoutQ’s activities in the Kingdom, and restated its commitment to protecting intellectual property rights. “Wimbledon’s allegations parrot those emanating from Al Jazeera Media Network and its subsidiary beIN Sports,” the ministry said. “Suggesting that Saudi Arabia is in any way complicit in beoutQ’s operation both offends the Saudi people and is a malicious lie. 

“Wimbledon and the various tennis associations know or should know that beginning in June 2017, the Saudi government banned all broadcasts by Al Jazeera and its affiliates because Al Jazeera is a media platform for terrorists to propagate their violent messages and to promote instability in the region.

“It used beIN Sports’s World Cup broadcasts to defame Saudi Arabia, the Saudi football federation, and national team. For these reasons Al Jazeera, beIN Sports and their affiliates will never again broadcast in Saudi Arabia.

“Given Al Jazeera’s known role in supporting terrorism and its inability to provide any media content in Saudi territory, the ministry urges Wimbledon and the tennis associations to end their relationships with beIN Sports and other Al Jazeera entities.”

The statement said "the government of Saudi Arabia is and will remain devoted to protecting IP rights within the country.” 

It noted that the Saudi Ministry of Commerce has seized thousands of set-top boxes that would otherwise be used to violate intellectual property (IP) in the country.

"While Al-Jazeera has repeatedly accused Arabsat (a quasi-governmental entity of the Arab League in Riyadh, established by 22 of its member states) of facilitating beoutQ’s transmissions, however, to date, Al-Jazeera has not provided any credible evidence that it has done so. To the contrary, Al-Jazeera has repeatedly pointed to the “unparalleled sophistication” with which beoutQ has easily overcome Al-Jazeera’s and beIN Sports’ state-of-the-art anti-piracy technology. Therefore, Wimbledon’s suggestion that Arabsat is facilitating or otherwise turning a blind eye to beoutQ’s operations is simply more Al-Jazeera propaganda," it said.

“We are disappointed that representatives of credible tennis associations are being used in the Wimbledon press release as mouthpieces by Al-Jazeera,” the statement added.

Al-Jazeera’s response to the ban has been to escalate a political campaign against Saudi Arabia. It has used beIN Sports’ 2018 FIFA World Cup broadcasts to defame the Kingdom, the Saudi Arabian football federation, and national team. 

Given Al-Jazeera’s known role in supporting terrorism and its inability to provide any media content in Saudi Arabian territory, the ministry urged Wimbledon and the tennis associations to end their relationships with beIN Sports and other Al-Jazeera entities.


Thailand suspends TV station over protests coverage

Updated 20 October 2020

Thailand suspends TV station over protests coverage

  • Thailand said on Monday that three other media organizations are under investigation
  • Protests have only gained momentum since the government announced a ban last Thursday and arrested dozens of protesters

BANGKOK: A Thai court on Tuesday ordered the suspension of an online TV station critical of the government, which has accused it of violating emergency measures aimed at ending three months of protests.
Voice TV had also been found to have breached the Computer Crime Act by uploading “false information,” digital ministry spokesman Putchapong Nodthaisong told reporters.
Thailand has drawn criticism from rights groups for banning demonstrations and the publication of news seen as damaging by the government as it tries to end the protests against Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and the powerful monarchy.
Rittikorn Mahakhachabhorn, Editor-in-Chief of Voice TV, said it would continue broadcasting until the court order arrived.
“We insist that we have been operating based on journalistic principles and we will continue our work presently,” he said.
Thailand said on Monday that three other media organizations are under investigation.
Voice TV is owned in part by the Shinawatra family of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his sister Yingluck, who was overthrown by Prayuth in a 2014 coup. Both fled Thailand to escape corruption cases they branded political.
Street protests since mid-July are the biggest challenge in decades to the monarchy under King Maha Vajiralongkorn and to Prayuth, who rejects accusations of engineering an election last year to keep power.
The demonstrations have been largely led by youths and students in contrast with a decade of street violence between supporters of Thaksin and conservative royalists before Prayuth seized power.
Protests have only gained momentum since the government announced a ban last Thursday and arrested dozens of protesters, including many of the main leaders.
A lawyer for two of them, Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak and Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, said they would be arrested again on Tuesday as soon as they had been freed on bail granted by a court over earlier charges related to the protests.
Prime Minister Prayuth has said he will not quit in the face of the protests.
His cabinet agreed on Tuesday to hold an emergency session of parliament next week about the crisis. Prayuth’s supporters hold a majority in the parliament, whose upper house was named entirely by his former junta.