Support Abdul and Adli

15 May 2003

JOURNALISTS in the BBC took action today in support of Abdul Hadi Jiad and Adli Hawwari, who were peremptorily dismissed by the World Service, on 15 May. This is the day the Director-General was to host a "Big Conversation": the NUJ says this expensive presentation of the new "values" of the Corporation is a "Big Con". Members boycotted it, and continue to withdraw all goodwill and other voluntary activities. The NUJ is supporting Adli and Abdul at the Employment Tribunal.

Llandudno, 5 April: Abdul Hadi Jiad and Adli Hawwari addressed the NUJ's Annual Delegate Meeting about their dismissal by the BBC World Service.

Abdul Hadi Jiad asked ADM to be very careful with the spelling of his name - "if you say 'Jihad' they'll take me to Guantanamo Bay".

"I don't feel sad about what's happened," he said, "I feel encouraged." What happened is that I pressed the BBC to enforce its own guidelines and agreements. On 21 January I offered to withdraw my tribunal cases in return for an undertaking that it would do this; and I was dismissed." The response by NUJ members to that dismissal was what was heartening.

"Our dismissal is a flagrant breach of human rights and trade union rights and of employment rights," he went on: "We need you to stand with us, and we need a 'yes' vote in the ballot for industrial action by all the BBC Chapels."

Adli Hawwari told ADM that this is not about two individuals - but about the effect of their dismissal on colleagues in the World Service. "We were making progress on challenging the adverse conditions under which we were working - and the dismissals send a message that challenging your boss is dangerous."

Everyone must be presumed innocent of any charges against them. No charges should be brought without a fair hearing, without representation, without a right of appeal.

The BBC ballot on industrial action starts on Wednesday 9 April and continues to the end of the month. ADM voted unanimously to condemn the BBC for its "carefully-orchestrated plan to demonise the two... in the national press" and demanding an independent investigation and new procedures for dealing with grievances. Delegates also signed a letter in support of action to go to members in the BBC.

Last modified: 15 May 2003 - © 2003 contributors
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