UK regulatory body flays Abu Dhabi TV Channel for violations
November 23 2020 10:59 PM


*NHRC welcomes Ofcom's second condemnation of the channel in less than a month

The National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) welcomed on Monday the decision of the UK Office of Communications (Ofcom) condemning Abu Dhabi TV channel for broadcasting an interview that it claimed were confessions of Qatari citizen Hamad al-Hammadi during his arbitrary arrest and detention in Abu Dhabi prisons in 2013.

Ofcom said that the channel, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC), which has a licence from Ofcom, broadcasted an interview on June 22, 2017 alleging they were confessions of a Qatari intelligence agent, who was discrediting the UAE. Ofcom said that broadcasting the interview against al-Hammadi's will, who was tortured and ill-treated in prison, was a severe breach of the principles of fairness and privacy set out in the Ofcom Broadcasting Code. The decision also provided for imposing legal sanctions on the channel for its serious violation of articles (7.1 and 8.1) of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code.

The NHRC said that it considers Ofcom's condemnation, less than one month after a similar statement on Dr Mahmoud al-Jaida's case, clear evidence of Abu Dhabi TV and the UAE authorities' violations of basic human rights. The committee said that the second decision reflects the lack of professionalism of the channel and its use by Emirati authorities as a tool to cover up human rights violations and to discredit Qatari citizens by charging them with false allegations and inciting against them.

The committee added that the decision proves, beyond doubt, that the governmental Abu Dhabi TV is implicated in these practices, which form a legal basis for holding the blockading countries' satellite TV channels accountable in court, given their violations of human rights and journalism ethics.

The NHRC has been documenting the violations of media outlets in the blockading countries since the blockade, to sue these outlets that pose a threat to peace and stability for spreading hate speech and racism against Qatar's citizens and residents.

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