Abu Dhabi Channel fined £250k by Ofcom for serious breach

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Ofcom has today fined Abu Dhabi Media Company PJSC (ADMC), a total of £250,000 for serious breaches of fairness and privacy rules on its Abu Dhabi Channel service.

Today’s sanctions follow Ofcom’s decisions to uphold complaints made on behalf of Dr Mahmoud Abdual Rahman Al-Jaidah and Mr Hamad Mohammed Ali Al-Hammadi. Ofcom’s investigations found that in two respective programmes – A documentary about Mahmoud Al-Jaidah and the secret organisation in the UAE and Confessions of a Qatari intelligence agent to damage the reputation of the UAE – the individuals concerned were unfairly treated and their privacy was unwarrantably infringed.

Among other things, Ofcom found that the Abu Dhabi Channel failed to obtain Dr Al-Jaidah’s and Mr Al-Hammadi’s informed consent to be interviewed. In addition, material facts which cast serious doubt on the reliability of their alleged confessions to crimes against the United Arab Emirates were left out of the programmes.

Given the seriousness of these breaches, Ofcom has imposed two financial penalties totalling £250,000, which will be passed on to HM Paymaster General.

Abu Dhabi Channel ceased broadcasting in the UK on 1st January 2021.

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