OFCOM – the media and communication regulator of the United Kingdom (UK) has fined Channel 44, a UK based Urdu news and current affairs channel for airing hate speech and unfounded allegations against the Ahmadiyya community.
The media regulator said that during a talk show aired by Channel 44 in early December 2017, the guest Umar Riaz Abbasi “made remarks that attributed conspiratorial intent to the actions of the Pakistani authorities towards the Ahmadiyya community”.
The guest, as per OfCom, claimed Ahmadi people had “committed acts of murder, terrorism and treason as well as undertaking political assassinations”. Among the salacious accusations were:
- Hundreds of Pakistani Ahmadis are part of the Israeli army
- Ahmadis provided support to the attackers of the Army Public School assault in 2014
- Ahmadis in the guise of police, participated in the Model Town massacre in 2014
- Killer of Liaquat Ali Khan, the first Prime minister of Pakistan, was an Ahmadi
The channel was fined £75,000 by Ofcom for violating rules of the OfCom Broadcasting Code.
As per the media regulator, the channel violated Rule 2.3, 3.2 and 3.3 of the code which bar broadcasting any offensive language, violence, humiliation, violation of human dignity, hate speech, discrimination and abusive or derogatory treatment of individuals, groups, religions or communities, unless it is justified by the context.