PCC upholds bomber's son pic complaint

The Press Complaints Commission has upheld a complaint against the Derby Evening Telegraph for publishing a photograph of the seven-year-old child of an attempted suicide bomber without consent.

Under the headline "Home again: family man on road to extremism", the article formed part of a supplement on Omar Khan Sharif who tried to become a suicide bomber in Israel. The complainant said the picture, captioned "the bomber’s son", had caused the child to be upset and frightened.

The commission ruled that publication of the picture was in breach of Clause 6 of the Editors’ Code of Practice saying reporters should seek parental advice before interviewing under 16-year-olds.

The Evening Telegraph said that Sharif’s actions had brought the city international attention and argued publication was in the public interest.

It said the picture was also at least three years old, of bad quality, and that the boy was unlikely to be recognised from it.

The PCC agreed that an examination of Sharif’s action was in the public interest, but that the boy’s picture was published without consent. The commission believed he was an innocent seven-year-old boy and the subject matter had affected his welfare.

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