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BBC’s decision on Gaza appeal unjustified.

26 January, 2009 - by Carál Ní Chuilín

Sinn Fein MLA Carál Ní Chuilín has stated that the BBC must reverse its decision not to broadcast a Disasters Emergency Appeal calling for aid to help redress the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Speaking today Ms Ní Chuilín said:

"After 18 months of a blockade and closure, followed by a three week intense military campaign by Israeli which resulted in over 1300 dead and thousands injured and made homeless, humanitarian aid is urgently needed

"The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), an umbrella organisation for 13 aid charities including the Red Cross, Save the Children, Concern and Oxfam, has launched an appeal for such aid.

"The decision by the BBC to refuse to broadcast this appeal is completely unacceptable and cannot be justified. DEC appeals have recently been broadcast on the BBC raising £10m for the Congo and £18m for Burma. What then is different about the humanitarian crisis affecting Palestinians in Gaza?

"Essentially the BBC's excuse, claiming that to show such an appeal would impinge on its impartiality, is calling into question the impartiality and neutrality of the DEC charities. Nobody could ever say that these agencies would be partisan or unbiased in their appeal for, or delivery of, aid so why is the BBC doing so?

"I welcome the fact that other stations including ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 will air this appeal. The BBC must reverse its decision, stop hiding behind weak excuses, and follow suit." CRIOCH

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