A broadcaster has made a public apology and paid “substantial damages” to a charity after one of its presenters claimed the organisation was engaged in human trafficking.
Migrants Organise said it was “exposed to hate and threats of violence” after the claims were made on Talk TV during the daytime show The Independent Republic of Mike Graham.
The charity contacted Talk TV following the show and subsequent discussions on Twitter on 10 and 13 June.
In an apology posted on Twitter this morning, Talk TV said Migrants Organise had “expressed concern it was suggested that they were ‘funded to help illegal migration’, were ‘human traffickers’, and that they facilitated fraud and terrorism by advising asylum seekers to falsify information to bolster their asylum claims”.
It added: “We are happy to clarify that it was not our or Mike's intention to make those allegations and we accept there wasn't a factual basis for doing so.
“There were criticisms of Migrants Organise in the show and we should have offered the charity the opportunity to come on and respond. We apologise for not doing that and have agreed to pay them damages and legal costs.”
Migrants Organise’s chief executive Zrinka Bralo said: “We were exposed to hate and threats of violence as a result of the mischaracterisation of our work and the dehumanisation of people in need and we had to take a stand.
“This victory is for the people behind these headlines, people who have no voice or representation, people who are scapegoated, demonised and dehumanised. Their resilience is the source of hope for all of us.”
Migrants Organise says on its website that it campaigns for “an inclusive and welcoming society with a fair immigration system”.
The charity said the payout would be used “to further our vital work in supporting migrants and refugees to rebuild their lives”.