JustGiving and Charity Commission review donations to Syria aid charity

The commission has been monitoring concerns about Birmingham-based Children in Deen after a British suicide bomber travelled to Syria as part of an aid convoy

Children in Deen
Children in Deen

The online donation portal JustGiving has said it and the Charity Commission are reviewing payments to the aid charity Children in Deen.

The commission said in February that it was monitoring concerns about the Birmingham-based charity after Abdul Waheed Majeed, a British citizen who carried out a suicide bomb attack on a prison in Syria,  travelled to the country as part of an aid convoy it helped to organise.

Majeed drove a truck packed with explosives into the gates of a prison in Aleppo in north-west Syria on 6 February, in what is believed be the first suicide attack carried out in Syria by a Briton.

After the incident, the Charity Commission said it was "assessing whether there are any regulatory concerns" about Children in Deen.

A spokeswoman for the charity told Third Sector at the time that up to 10 charities were involved in an aid convoy to Syria last July and that 148 people travelled with it, including Majeed but none of the charity’s staff or trustees. She said the charity continued to send aid to Syria but that it now did so using shipping containers rather than aid convoys.

The online donation portal JustGiving said today that it was reviewing payments made to Children in Deen through its website.

JustGiving passes donations to charities on a weekly or monthly basis, depending on the size of the charity and the number of donations. It said that Children in Deen was on a monthly cycle and, before any money was paid to it, it would meet representatives from the Charity Commission to discuss whether there were any concerns about the charity.

"We were made aware of some concerns about a charity under investigation by the Charity Commission," a JustGiving spokeswoman said. "As per our terms of service, we are reviewing the reported concerns with the regulator. This is standard procedure."

She said that JustGiving’s talks with the commission would be a collaborative process to decide on further action; available sanctions included suspending Children in Deen’s JustGiving page indefinitely.

Sara Rathore, a trustee at Children in Deen, said: "We were not aware of any problem until yesterday but we have been in touch with JustGiving, which has told us that our account is fine."

Rathore added: "It seems like a bit of a witch hunt against us now. We are doing good work and this is having a negative impact."

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