224/2019 Khayaal Theatre Company and 5PillarsUK (online)
Publication: 5Pillars UK
Date of complaint: 30 May 2019
Date complaint accepted: 07 November 2019
Date of adjudication: 12 February 2020
Relevant clauses: Accuracy 1.1 and 1.4 and Discrimination 4.3 of the IMPRESS Standards Code
Outcome: Complaint dismissed. No breach.
Summary of Complaint
1.1. The complaint is being made by Khayaal Theatre Company (“the Complainant”), a directly affected party of the alleged breach of the Code.
1.2. The Respondent is 5Pillars Media Ltd, which publishes online as 5PillarsUK and is a publication, focusing on British Muslim news, that has been regulated by IMPRESS since 05/04/18.
1.3. Legal representatives of the Khayaal Theatre Company made a request that the name of Mr Luqman Ali should not be disclosed in the Committee’s decision. The IMPRESS regulatory scheme sets out at 5.6 that it will take account of requests by a complainant to remain anonymous and to redact any personal information which may cause a further intrusion into privacy or cause harm or considerable distress to the complainant or a third party.
1.4. Mr Luqman Ali is the managing director of the Khayaal Theatre Company and closely associated with it. He is named in the article complained of. The initial complaint to the Publisher was made by Mr Ali and he engaged directly with the Publisher. Subsequently, the Khayaal Theatre Company instructed legal representatives to refer the complaint to IMPRESS on its behalf.
1.5. In considering the request for anonymity, the Committee agreed that it was impractical for it to reach an adjudication that did not identify Mr Ali. It is inevitable that the decision by the Khayaal Theatre Company to make this complaint will have involved Mr Ali, and that the investigation of this complaint may receive public scrutiny. To that extent, the Committee did not consider that any further intrusion into Mr Ali’s privacy or harm or distress would be caused to him by being named in this adjudication.
1.6. The complaint concerns an article that first appeared on 5PillarsUK on 29/05/19 with the headline, “NZF funded individuals linked to Israel and counter extremism”.
1.7. The complaint is assessed against the IMPRESS Standards Code, the relevant clauses are:
Clause 1 (Accuracy)
1.1. Publishers must take all reasonable steps to ensure accuracy.
1.4. Whilst free to be partisan, publishers must not misrepresent or distort the facts.
Clause 4 (Discrimination)
4.3. Publishers must not incite hatred against any group on the basis of that group’s age, disability, mental health, gender reassignment or identity, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation or another characteristic that makes that group vulnerable to discrimination.