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Ofcom slaps UK 44 with a £75k fine

Popular Urdu news channel, UK 44 (Channel 44) has been heavily fined by Ofcom for a serious breach of rules and regulations.

It was confirmed by Ofcom that it will be imposing a £75,000 financial penalty on City News Network (SMC) Pvt Ltd, the licence holder for UK 44.

Ofcom said in its investigation during two episodes of current affairs discussion programme ‘Point of View’, a guest made a number of statements which it considered amounted to hate speech directed towards the Ahmadiyya community. These included that Ahmadi people had committed acts of murder, terrorism and treason as well as undertaking political assassinations. The same guest also made remarks that attributed conspiratorial intent to the actions of the Pakistani authorities towards the Ahmadiyya community and stated they were being favoured in Pakistani society at the expense of orthodox Muslims. The episodes were broadcast on 4th and 11th December 2017 at 17:00.

Ofcom concluded this resulted in serious breaches of the Broadcasting Code, which warranted the imposition of statutory sanctions. These include a financial penalty and a direction to the broadcaster to air a statements of Ofcom’s findings on a date – and in a form – to be determined by Ofcom.