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Complainant Name:
The Disasters Emergency Committee

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Daily Telegraph

Complaint:

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) complained to the Press Complaints Commission that the newspaper had published inaccurate and misleading information in breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors' Code of Practice. The complainants were concerned that the headline incorrectly claimed that "charity millions [are] ‘going to Syrian terror groups'". There was nothing in the article to substantiate this figure. While the Charity Commission had expressed concern that some charitable donations were being diverted to support terrorist activity and had drawn up guidance about this for charities, it had made no estimate for such a figure. Furthermore, only the DEC had raised millions of pounds for Syria. The complainants were concerned that the article therefore incorrectly implied that it was funds raised specifically by the DEC that were being diverted to terrorists. The Charity Commission had made clear that its comments were not directed at the DEC.

Resolution:

The complaint was resolved when the newspaper amended the online article - and published a record of the alterations - and published the following clarification, negotiated by the PCC, in the newspaper:

Diversion of charity money to extremists

Our report on Charity Commission guidance to stop charitable donations reaching Syrian terror groups (Oct 5, 2013) suggested in its headline that "millions" were being diverted to terrorists. We wish to make clear that the commission had made no estimate of how much money might be involved.

Date Published: 03/02/2014



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