Doha Sheraton: (1/11/2008): H.E. Dr. Ali Ben Smaikh al-Marry, NHRC Secretary General participated on Saturday 1/11/2008 in the opening session of a forum organized by Jazeera Net marking its 12th anniversary under the theme "The Role of Human Rights Freedoms in promoting Public Freedoms".
During discussions at the forum, H. E. said the initiative constitutes a substantial addition to the Human Rights Movement in Qatar.
During the forum, Jazeera also announced the launch of the Public Liberties and Human Rights Desk, which will be headed by Sami Al Haj, the Al Jazeera cameraman who was recently released from Guantanamo Bay after six and a half years of detention.
The primary focus of the Desk will be to promote respect for human rights and public liberties by monitoring, documenting, broadcasting and raising awareness for these key issues in the world as a whole and in the Arab region in particular.
The Desk will work closely with Al Jazeera’s news division and establish a specialized database on human rights and public liberties issues. For his part, Wadah Khanfar, Director General of Al Jazeera Network said that "The Al Jazeera Public Liberties and Human Rights Desk is a groundbreaking project that builds on Al Jazeera’s tradition of reporting events and stories that too often are not told.
He added that he was very pleased to have Sami Al Haj lead the initiative for advancing public liberties and human rights that follows Al Jazeera’s tradition of expanding the boundaries of journalism. Day to day tasks will include the monitoring and documenting of achievements and violations in the field of human rights, keeping track of all regional and international developments pertaining to the systematization of human rights and public liberties protection, documenting different experiences, producing reports and media programming on human rights and public liberties as well as working on capacity building in the field of human rights and public liberties.
Additionally, the Public Liberties and Human Rights Desk will contribute to research and studies in the field of human rights and public liberties.