UK Regulator OfCom Imposes Fine On Firm Broadcasting Republic Bharat For 'Hate Speech' Against Pakistani People

UK Regulator OfCom Imposes Fine On Firm Broadcasting Republic Bharat For 'Hate Speech' Against Pakistani PeopleRepublic TV logo (representative image) (Picture credits: Republic TV)

The British broadcasting regulator has imposed a fine of 20,000 pounds on a firm that has the licence to broadcast Arnab Goswami's hindi news channel Republic Bharat in UK for alleged hate speech against Pakistani people in a debate on the channel, reports Indian Express.

The Office of Communications, or OfCom, in its order against Worldview Media Network Limited on Tuesday (22 December) said that the executive of the regulatory body found that the Republic Bharat's "Poochta Hai Bharat" show on 6 September 2019 contained "uncontextualised hate speech and that this content was potentially highly offensive".

The order stated that the show contained "statements which amounted to hate speech against, and was abusive and derogatory about, Pakistani people on the basis of their nationality”.

“These statements would potentially be harmful and highly offensive to any person who did not share the sentiment being expressed by the presenter and his Indian guests," the OfCom said.

The regulator further said that the potentially harmful and offensive nature of the content was compounded by the political context in which the episode of Poochta Hai Bharat was broadcast.

The regulator further stated that it “considered that the hate speech against the Pakistani people broadcast in this programme without sufficient challenge or context would potentially be particularly harmful in this context, as it had the potential to cause further damage to the already strained relationship between people of Indian and Pakistani origin”.

However, the violations, the OfCom said, consisted of only a single broadcast and was not "ongoing" and the Worldwide Media Network Limited took some steps to prevent future breaches, including halting the live broadcast of the debates.