Facebook page calls for removal of Qatar's Emir

DOHA Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:37am EST

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DOHA (Reuters) - A Facebook page entitled "Freedom Revolution March 16 Qatar" calling for the downfall of Qatar's Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, has attracted the approval of 1,646 people, the page showed on Thursday.

Demands listed on the site, which shows a photo of the Emir crossed out in red, also include the removal of a U.S. military base from Qatari soil and the exclusion of the emir's influential wife Sheikha Mouza from public affairs.

It was impossible to verify how many of those who "liked" the page were in Qatar or were Qatari nationals or whether any protest would materialize on March 16.

Qatar, a close U.S. ally, is viewed as one of the least vulnerable countries to the wave of political unrest shaking the Arab world. The Gulf Arab state's copious natural gas reserves have made it super-rich, with a tiny population about 350,000 nationals enjoying the world's highest per capita income.

Sheikh Hamad seized power from his father in a bloodless coup in 1995 and in 2003 declared his son Tamim heir apparent.

Political reform has stagnated with parliamentary elections repeatedly postponed. Qatar has no organized opposition groups.

The Facebook site calls for political reforms and more welfare benefits for Qataris. It says Qatar should consider cutting ties with Iran and with Israel, which had a trade office in the emirate until Doha closed it in 2009 in protest at an Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip.

The Facebook site shows a picture of Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani meeting an Israeli official, with the caption: "Why did Al Jazeera not publish these photos?"

Qatar hosts and funds Al Jazeera, a Doha-based news channel that has covered unrest in Tunisia and Egypt extensively.

(Reporting by Regan E. Doherty; Editing by Alistair Lyon)

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Comments (2)
msmieske wrote:
I would like the link for this Facebook page so I can do some investigating myself about who the people are who “liked” it. I don’t think it’s local people. I can’t find it myself. Sloppy investigating, Reuter’s!

Feb 25, 2011 3:05am EST  --  Report as abuse
alsultana wrote:
Facebook should not be used as “REVOLUTION” page…!!!
Enough. The earth belongs to all, so we need peace not revolution!!!
Have any of you been to QATAR??? Jobs, peace, respect for all nationalities, safe!! Is that what we all want!!!?? or do you NOT, belong to this EARTH!!!?

Mar 02, 2011 3:20am EST  --  Report as abuse
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