SACKINGS IN THE BBC ARABIC SERVICE – ONE YEAR ON! WE CALL FOR THE REINSTATEMENT OF OUR COLLEAGUES

From the www.monabaker.com archive (legacy material)

NUJ | 19 February 2004

"...we also have a duty to defend the rights of our members, including the fundamental right to trade union representation within the framework of the established and agreed procedures." The National Union of Journalists has always strongly defended the BBC as a public service broadcaster, and will continue to do so. Our union played a key role in mobilising support for the BBC and independent journalism in the wake of the Hutton Report. With BECTU, we held rallies outside BBC offices across the UK. Our support for a strong independent BBC is unconditional and absolute. We, alongside many others at the BBC, in all occupations and levels of authority, seek to further the BBC's pursuit of our professional goals. We promote: access for all; the impartiality of the news that is trusted by so many; independence from political and commercial interests; and the fulfilling of our duty of provision to all sections of the community. But we also have a duty to defend the rights of our members, including the fundamental right to trade union representation within the framework of the established and agreed procedures. A year ago, on 19 February 2003, on the eve of the Iraq war, two NUJ activists, Adli Hawwari, a Palestinian, and Abdul-Hadi Jiad, an Iraqi, were sacked from their long-standing jobs in the BBC Arabic Service without prior warning or any disciplinary hearing. They were denied union representation, had no chance to present a defence, and were denied the right of appeal. The NUJ sprang to their defence. We received support from the Trades Union Congress, and won unanimous backing for re-instatement at the roc annual conference. The NUJ reaffirms its commitment to the re-instatement of our sacked colleagues. Every BBC member of staff should be accorded full rights under BBC procedures, employment law and the principles of natural justice. The BBC, as a public body, must uphold these principles and thus continue to enjoy public respect and support. Reinstatement would be a further step in cementing the unity between all parties working in the BBC who wish to defend its independence and integrity. SUPPORT THE RE-INST A TEMENT OF"OUR TWO COLLEAGUES!