Readers may recall that on January 2nd the BBC Arabic website published a report on the death of Hilarion Capucci which included less than impartial terminology.
“In the article’s second paragraph Jerusalem as a whole is described as “the occupied city of Jerusalem” and readers are told that Capucci “was arrested by the Israeli occupation forces on charges of supporting the Palestinian resistance…”. [emphasis added]”
BBC Watch wrote to BBC Arabic on the subject but did not receive a reply. We therefore submitted a complaint which has been upheld.
“Thank you for getting in touch and your complaint about an article published on the BBC Arabic Service website. I forwarded your comments to one of the editors in the Service, Mohamed Yehia. Below is his reply… […]
Thank you for your message. After looking into your complaint and reviewing the piece it referred to on our website, the BBC Arabic Service has decided to uphold all three points mentioned in the complaint regarding the language used to describe Jerusalem, the Israeli military and the PLO. We have made the necessary changes to bring the text in line with our editorial guidelines. We apologise for this editorial mistake which we take very seriously and will be addressing it formally with the journalist responsible for publishing the article.
Editor, BBC Arabic Service
I hope the above apology and correction of the article allays the concerns you have raised.”
The corrected article now reads:
“Capucci was born in the Syrian city of Aleppo in 1922 and was appointed bishop of the Roman Catholic Church in the city of Jerusalem in 1965, and in 1974 he was arrested by Israeli security forces on charges of smuggling weapons from Beirut to the benefit of the Palestinian Liberation Organization in his own car.”
However, no footnote has been added to inform readers of the correction and it does not appear on the BBC’s page of “significant corrections“.