25th May 2021
Dr Mahmoud Abdul Rahman Al-Jaidah and Mr Hamad Mohammed Ali Al-Hammadi have today sent formal letters of claim to Abu Dhabi Media Company PJSC. They are claiming damages in consequence of the broadcast of their private information on the Abu Dhabi Channel.
Dr Al-Jaidah and Mr Al-Hammadi were arrested and detained in the UAE several years ago. During their detention, they were tortured and forced to confess to crimes they did not commit. In June 2017 their forced confessions were broadcast on the Abu Dhabi Channel in the UK as though they were voluntary interviews.
The civil claims follow successful fairness and privacy complaints submitted to Ofcom in relation to the broadcast of their forced confessions. In November 2020 Ofcom found that Abu Dhabi Media Company PJSC had violated the fairness and privacy provisions of the Broadcasting Code. Copies of Ofcom’s Adjudication Decisions can be found here and here.
Following Ofcom’s Adjudication Decisions and whilst sanctions for breaches were being considered, Abu Dhabi Media Company PJSC surrendered their only UK broadcasting licence with effect from 1 January 2021. On 5 May 2021 Ofcom imposed sanctions on Abu Dhabi Media Company PJSC consisting of two financial penalties of £125,000. Copies of Ofcom’s Sanction Decisions can be found here and here.
Rodney Dixon QC assisted by Sian Reeves, act for Dr Al-Jaidah and Mr Al-Hammadi on a Direct Access basis.
Press reporting of the civil claims can be found at the link below.