Joint Committee on The Draft Communications Bill Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


APPENDIX 22

Memorandum submitted by Jeffrey Donaldson MP

  I am writing with regard to the inclusion of certain clauses within the Draft Communications Bill, the result of which will perpetuate the discriminatory exclusion of the UK Christian media industry applying for certain broadcast licences within the United Kingdom.

  As you will be aware there is widespread support within the House of Commons for the UK Christian media industry to have the right to apply for such broadcast licences. This has been reflected in support for a number of Motions tabled in the Commons as well as a significant number of petitions that have been presented to Parliament in support of broadcast freedom for Christians in the UK.

  I believe that the inclusion of these discriminatory clauses within the Draft Communications Bill represents a potential breach by the UK Government of our obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights and the UN Charter on Human Rights. I would remind you that Article 55 of the UN Charter states that there should be "universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion."

  I would therefore urge you in your deliberations regarding the Draft Communications Bill to urgently consider removing the discriminatory clauses, which exclude the UK Christian media industry from making applications for broadcast licences within the United Kingdom.

June 2002


 
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