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Arabs believe world is better off, thanks to Wikileaks

More than 60 percent of respondents in recent survey believe that Wikileaks will change the way governments behave.

  • By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 11:40 February 16, 2011
  • Gulf News

Manama: Most Arabs support Wikileaks, the whistle-blowing website, and demand greater transparency, a survey conducted in 17 Arab countries indicates.

According to the Doha Debate poll that surveyed the views of more than 1,000 Arabs in the first week of February, six out of ten Arabs believe that the world has become a better place with Wikileaks.

Nearly three quarters of the Arabs would like to see Wikileaks publish more cables on the Arab world, concluded the survey of Arabs conducted in the Gulf, North Africa and Levant countries, including Tunisia and Egypt where popular protests led in January and February to the end of two long-serving presidents.

The results closely mirror the results at a public forum in Qatar where 74 per cent of the audience at the recent Doha Debate carried the motion ‘This House believes the world is better off with Wikileaks, Qatari daily The Peninsula reported on Wednesday.

In the aftermath of the fall of the Ben Ali regime Tunisia, nearly 60 per cent of respondents believed Wikileaks played a part in the events in Tunisia and the demonstrations in other Arab countries.

More than 60 per cent believe that Wikileaks will change the way governments behave.

According to the poll, 55 per cent of Arabs said that they believed little to nothing of what their governments tell them. The figure is highest in North Africa with 65 per cent of the citizens having almost no trust in government information.

Half of the people surveyed want full access to information and transparency.

Despite the support for WikiLeaks, more than half of those interviewed believed the materials released are not 100 per cent accurate or truthful while an equal number said that they were unsure of whether WikiLeaks had a political agenda.

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