Petition demands talks on World Service pair

More than 1,200 people have signed a petition calling on BBC chairman Gavyn Davies and director general Greg Dyke to negotiate with the NUJ about the reinstatement of two BBC World Service journalists.

Adli Hawwari and Abdul-Hadi Jiad were sacked from the BBC’s Arabic service in February after what World Service director Mark Byford described as a “complete breakdown in trust and confidence”.

The petition, which was presented to BBC bosses this week, was signed by BBC staff from the World Service and throughout the UK, as well as trade union members and 300 delegates from the annual TUC conference.

Hawwari and Jiad were sacked without notice or a disciplinary hearing, which was in breach of the BBC’s disciplinary procedures.

NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear said: “Some rights are inalienable and the right to a fair hearing is one of them. Even people accused of theft and physical violence at the BBC have been accorded this right.

“Nothing can justify denying this right to two people who served the BBC for 16 and 13 years respectively, and whose performance and conduct was never in question.”

By Sarah Boden

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