Resolution Statement 06826-17 Kamal v Daily Express
Summary of Complaint
1. Rizwana Kamal complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that The Daily Express breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) and Clause 2 (Privacy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “Asylum seekers claiming benefits had £250,000 in hidden accounts,” published in print and online on 27 April 2017.
2. The article reported that Rizwana Kamal and her husband had received £150,000 in benefit payments after coming to the UK as asylum seekers. The article also included a photograph which it said was of Ms Kamal.
3. The complainant said that the article was inaccurate, as it erroneously included a photograph of her. She shared the defendant’s name but was unconnected to the story. The complainant also said that this photograph had been taken from her Facebook account without her consent and its publication represented an intrusion into her private life.
4. The newspaper said that the story and the photograph were provided by an agency and published in good faith. The newspaper apologised for the error and removed the photograph from the article and their photograph library. The newspaper also published an apology in print and online.
Relevant Code Provisions
5. Clause 1 (Accuracy)
i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information or images, including headlines not supported by the text.
ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and — where appropriate — an apology published. In cases involving IPSO, due prominence should be as required by the regulator.
6. Clause 2 * (Privacy)
i) Everyone is entitled to respect for his or her private and family life, home, health and correspondence, including digital communications.
ii) Editors will be expected to justify intrusion into any individual’s private life without consent. Account will be taken of the complainant’s own public disclosures of information.
7. The complaint was not resolved through direct correspondence between the parties. IPSO therefore began an investigation into the matter.
8. Following IPSO’s intervention, the newspaper said that it would, if possible, contact a third party website which had published the photograph, and request its removal. While the newspaper was unable to make contact with this site, because there were no contact details on the website, the photograph was removed. In light of this, and given the previous steps which the newspaper had taken prior to IPSO’s intervention, the complainant said that she considered the matter now to be resolved.
9. The complainant said that this resolved the matter to her satisfaction.
10. As the complaint was successfully mediated, the Complaints Committee did not make a determination as to whether there had been any breach of the Code.
Date complaint received: 08/05/2017
Date complaint concluded: 21/06/2017
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