Al Arabiya News is an Arabic language news and current affairs channel licensed by Ofcom.
Mr Husain Abdulla complained to Ofcom on behalf of Mr Hassan Mashaima about unfair treatment and unwarranted infringement of privacy in connection with the obtaining of material included in the programme and the programme as broadcast on Al
Arabiya News on 27 February 2016.
The programme reported on an attempt made in February and March 2011, by a number of people including the complainant, Mr Hassan Mashiama, to change the governing regime in Bahrain from a Kingdom to a Republic. It included an interview with Mr
Mashaima, filmed while he was in prison awaiting a retrial, as he explained the circumstances which had led to his arrest and conviction.
The interview included Mr Mashaima making confessions as to his participation in certain activities. Only approximately three months prior to the date on which Al Arabiya News said the footage was filmed, an official Bahraini Commission of Inquiry
had found that similar such confessions had been obtained from individuals, including Mr Mashaima, under torture. During Mr Mashaima's subsequent retrial and appeal, he maintained that his conviction should be overturned, as confessions had been
obtained from him under torture.
Ofcom's Decision is that the appropriate sanction should be a financial penalty of £120,000 and that the Licensee should be directed to broadcast a statement of Ofcom's findings, on a date to be determined by Ofcom, and that it should be directed
to refrain from broadcasting the material found in breach again.
6th February 2018. See article from ofcom.org.uk
Ofcom has announced that Al Arabiya News Channel is no longer licensed by Ofcom and hence cannot broadcast to the UK. Presumably this is related to the recent Ofcom fine.
Update: Maybe another reason for the UK closure
17th February 2018. See article from menafn.com
Al Arabiya News Channel has surrendered with immediate effect its license with the U.K. broadcasting censor Ofcom, which received a complaint over the channel's involvement in covering the crime of hacking Qatar News Agency (QNA), British law firm
QNA had hired Carter-Ruck to submit a complaint at Ofcom against Al Arabiya and Sky News Arabia for broadcasting fabricated and false statements attributed to Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani after QNA's website was hacked on May 24, 2017, The
four countries of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt used this event to justify the siege that they have been imposing on Qatar since June 5, 2017.
The surrendering of the license by Al Arabiya, a Dubai-based satellite broadcaster owned by Saudi businessmen, was to avoid an an Ofcom investigation.
QNA says Al Arabiya's decision was dictated by the inquiry but the channel says business reasons also influenced the move.