The biggest Jewish newspaper in the UK has paid libel damages and issued an official statement of apology for accusing a British Muslim charity of funding terrorism.
The Jewish Chronicle published articles in February 2012 accusing Human Appeal International of being a donor for international terrorism, providing financial support to the families of suicide bombers and being a designated terrorist organization by the US government.
The Jewish Chronicle stated on its website:
“We now accept that these allegations are untrue and apologize unreservedly to Human Appeal International and to those individuals who are involved in its operation. We have paid sums in damages to Dr Othman Moqbel (the CEO of Human Appeal International) and to Dr Hussein Nagi and Mr Mohamad Yousef (both trustees of Human Appeal International) as an indication of our regret.”
The amount paid in compensation of libel damages to Human Appeal International has not been made public.
CEO of Human Appeal International, Dr Othman Moqbel said: “It is regrettable that legal action was necessary and all this could have been avoided if The Jewish Chronicle had carried out due diligence.”
“We are now focused on rebuilding the reputation and trust of our charity. We hope that in the future people will take due care when publishing such serious allegations.”
“There are people out there with an agenda and we would hope that in the future the media does not allow such people to mislead them.”
Legal representative for Human Appeal International, Cameron Doley said: “We cannot confirm the amount that has been paid for legal reasons, but the amount is substantial and reflects the seriousness of the false accusations that were made against Human Appeal International.”
Chief Operating Officer of The Jewish Chronicle, Richard Burton said to 5 Pillarz: “We are unable to make a comment today as the issue is still ongoing, and due to legal reasons we cannot confirm the sum that was paid to Human Appeal International.”
Established in 1991 in Manchester, Human Appeal International has a presence in 24 countries spanning across 3 continents: Asia, Africa and Europe.
They concentrate on health care, education and income generation programmes, while providing food, medical aid and emergency shelter in times of humanitarian crises.