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Ofcom fines Derby radio station for ‘abusive’ statements

A community radio station which broadcast “abusive and derogatory” statements has been fined.

A presenter on Radio Ikhlas, which is based in Derby, seriously breached the Broadcasting Code during a programme in September 2017, Ofcom said.

The media regulator said it imposed a £10,000 fine on the radio station for failing to provide adequate protection for listeners.

The station said it had suspended the presenter and broadcast an apology.

The volunteer presenter broadcast a two-hour current affairs “phone-in” programme.

Ofcom said it included a 21-minute segment during which he discussed the beliefs of the Ahmadiyya community in offensive and pejorative terms.

The presenter described Ahmadi people as “dangerous, liars, enemies and hypocrites”, the regulator said.

The radio station was alerted of the breaches after Ofcom received a complaint from a listener.

Radio Ikhlas said the presenter had “felt remorse” and recognises that he needs more training.

It said it would provide him with “a period of rehabilitation and further advanced training on Ofcom’s guidelines”.

Ofcom concluded that the serious nature of the breaches of the Broadcasting Code warranted the imposition of statutory sanctions.

These include a financial penalty and a direction to the broadcaster to broadcast a statement of Ofcom’s findings on a date and in a form to be determined by Ofcom.

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