Press Complaints Commission
spacer spacer
SEARCH FOR     Or try the cases search  
Cases Banner
  spacer
Making a complaint
Code of Practice Information
Cases
Code Advice
 

Complainant Name:
F. Hawramy

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Scotsman

Complaint:

F. Hawramy complained to the Press Complaints Commission that the newspapers had published inaccuracies relating to the execution of five prisoners in Iran.

Resolution:

The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated for the publication of letters by both newspapers from the complainant setting out his concerns.

The Scotsman published the following in its print and online editions:

Iran executions

There is something profoundly unjust about misrepresenting innocent people who have been hanged by a government (Iran) that practises torture, rape and execution.

Reuters News Agency did this by running a report on 9 May about the execution of five Iranian political activists including a young woman and a primary school teacher.

The report claimed four of the executed were involved in a bombing in
Iran in 2008 that resulted in 14 deaths. However, three of the people executed were in prison by 2006 and remained in prison until their death, according to the Iranian government sources Reuters used for its report.

Therefore, they could not have been involved in the 2008 bombing. I am disappointed that on this occasion Reuters fell below its basic principle of accuracy.

F. Hawramy

London


The Scarborough Evening News published the following on its website, where the article appeared:

Re: Unjust misrepresentation of innocent people

There is something profoundly unjust about misrepresenting innocent people who have been hanged by a government (Iran) that practises torture, rape and execution.

In my view, Reuters News Agency did this by running a report on 9th of May about the execution of 5 Iranian political activists including a young woman and a primary school teacher.

The report claimed 4 of the executed were involved in a bombing in Iran in 2008 that resulted in 14 deaths.

However, this was wrong as three of the people executed were in prison by 2006 and remained in prison until their death according to the Iranian government sources Reuters used for its report. Therefore, they could not have been involved in the 2008 bombing.

I have pointed this out but to no avail. I have also complained to Press Complaint Commission and Ofcom and to my surprise none of these bodies has jurisdiction over Reuters.

As I see it, Reuters claims two of the main principles that govern its work are "accuracy" and "freedom from bias". In this case in my view Reuters fell way short of its own principles. May I invite people to look at these websites:

Reuters journalism Handbook:http://handbook.reuters.com/index.php/Standards_and_Values

Reuters article: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6480LC20100509

Iranian sources used by Reuters:http://www.dadsara.ir/tabid/81/ctl/Edit/mid/480/Code/197/Default.aspx
http://www.irna.ir/View/FullStory/?NewsId=1103948

Human Rights Watch article: http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/05/11/iran-executed-dissidents-tortured-confess

F. Hawram
London

Date Published: 06/09/2010



<< Go Back
 
    spacer
Home ] Cases ] Site map ]