Jun 02 2010

Al Jazeera accepts presenters' resignation

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010

Gulf News

Manama The Al Jazeera satellite channel has accepted the resignations of five women presenters who clashed with management over issues including alleged harassment, to dress code, a London Arab newspaper reported.

" Al Jazeera , in line with its policy of rejecting arm-twisting, has accepted the resignation of the five rebellious presenters," an official from the pan-Arab station was quoted as saying in the Al Quds Al Arabi newspaper yesterday. Jumana Nammour (Lebanon), Luna Al Shibl (Syria), Lina Zahr Al Deen (Lebanon), Jullinar Mousa (Lebanon) and Nawfar Afli (Tunisia) were among a group of eight women working for the pan-Arab channel in Doha who filed a complaint.

They alleged "repeated offensive public remarks" by an Al Jazeera executive about their "clothes and decency".

The other three women presenters, Khadija Bin Qenna (Algeria), Laila Al Shaikhli and Eman Bannoura did not hand in their resignations, Saudi paper Al Hayat reported.

Other measures taken by the station, according to Al Quds Al Arabi, included naming Ahmad Al Shaikh, the editor in chief, consultant to Shaikh Hamad Bin Thamer, the board chairman.

He would be replaced by Salah Najm who left BBC Arabic to work for Al Jazeera .

Ayman Jaballah, the deputy editor-in-chief, whose attitudes were cited by the women presenters in their petition as a major cause for their resignation, was appointed head of station channel Al Jazeera Live.

An ad hoc investigation committee set up by Al Jazeera to look into the presenters' petition had cleared Jaballah of the harassment complaint.

The committee said his attitudes and behaviour were his prerogative and that he did not make any remarks that could harm the presenters' reputation.

His observations were not personal, were purely professional and related to the general appearance of the presenters.

By Habib Toumi

© Gulf News 2010. All rights reserved.

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