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Daily Mail publisher pays Interpal £120k in libel damages

Daily Mail publisher pays Interpal £120k in libel damages

Daily Mail and MailOnline publisher Associated Newspapers has paid £120,000 in damages to Interpal over its false allegations of terrorism and extremism.

Associated Newspapers has published full apologies and paid £120,000 in libel damages to the trustees of Interpal, a UK-based registered charity that provides relief and development aid to Palestinians in need. Associated Newspapers will also be paying the trustees’ legal costs.

The trustees’ complaint related to articles published last year on 2 and 15 August 2018, which alleged that Interpal had supported a “hate festival” in Gaza in which children acted out the murder of Jewish people. However while Interpal and others had donated to the festival, it did not fund or support the play, had no prior knowledge of it and condemned both the play and the activities it depicted as soon as they became aware of it.

The 15 August article also referred to Interpal having been listed in the United States as a “specially designated global terrorist organisation”.

However, the US designation had been made back in 2003 and has always been strongly contested by Interpal and the trustees while investigations by the Commission have found no reason to alter its charitable status.

Two full apologies have been published on MailOnline, one on the MailOnline App, and prominently in the print edition of the Daily Mail. In apologising unreservedly to the Trustees, MailOnline accepted that “neither Interpal, nor its trustees, have ever been involved in or provided support for terrorist activity of any kind.”

Speaking after the resolution of the libel complaint, Ibrahim Hewitt, the Chairman of the trustees, said:

“Interpal and the trustees welcome the decision taken by Associated Newspapers both to apologise formally and pay a suitable sum in damages, in recognition of the gravity of the falsehoods that were published. The timing and amount of the settlement are particularly noteworthy within the context of the ongoing wider agenda to politicise humanitarian aid to Palestinians. We hope that this significant success will encourage commentators and others to take seriously their responsibility for reporting unbiased, accurate information to the general public and service providers.”

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com.

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