BBC omission of Saudi Arabia’s designation of Hizballah corrected after reader complaint

On March 7th the BBC News website published an article titled “Saudi Arabia declares Muslim Brotherhood ‘terrorist group’” on its Middle East page. The article opens: SA terrorist banning story

“Saudi Arabia has formally designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation.

An interior ministry statement also classified two jihadist groups fighting with the Syrian rebels – the Nusra Front and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant – as terrorist groups.”

A reader noticed that despite the fact that the Saudi branch of Hizballah was included on the same list of terror designations at the same time, no reference to that fact was included in the BBC’s report and he contacted the corporation to point out that omission.

The reply received six days later included the following:

“We have updated the story to include reference to Hezbollah and published a note at the end of the article explaining this.”

The article’s eighth paragraph (out of fifteen) now reads:

“The interior ministry also said the Saudi branch of the Shia militant movement Hezbollah was now banned.”

The footnote added to the report reads:

Footnote S Arabia terrorist banning story

Despite that correction, the description of Hizballah as a “Shia movement” – or at most a “Shia militant movement” – continues the BBC tradition of inadequately informing audiences with regard to the organisation’s terror designation in numerous countries and its terrorist and criminal activities at home and abroad. 

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