Friday, 17 February 2012

Sorry we said you threatened to hang an opponent

This apology to Rashid Ghannouchi was published yesterday on MailOnline:

An earlier version of the blog post "The moderate fanatics of the Islamist winter" referred to allegations made by another blogger that Rashid Ghannouchi, the leader of the Tunisian political party An Nahda, had threatened to hang political opponents Raja bin Salama and Lafif Lakhdar. The allegation was untrue, it was removed when we were informed that was the case and we apologise for any distress caused to Mr Ghannouchi.

The blog post in question was written by Melanie Phillips and the apology has been added to the end of it.

But Phillips was not the only one to make this claim about Ghannouchi - it also appeared in The Economist and they also apologised:

In our briefing last week on women and the Arab awakening (“Now is the time”), we said that Rachid Ghannouchi, the leader of Tunisia’s Nahda party, opposes the country’s liberal code of individual rights, the Code of Personal Status, and its prohibition of polygamy. We also said that he has threatened to hang a prominent Tunisian feminist, Raja bin Salama, in Basij Square in Tunis, because she has called for the country’s new laws to be based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We accept that neither of these statements is true: Mr Ghannouchi has expressly said that he accepts the Code of Personal Status; and he never threatened to hang Ms bin Salama. We apologise to him unreservedly.

This appeared on 22 October 2011.

Phillips' blog post repeating the claim was published five days later.

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