The recently founded Middle East Eye (MEE), purporting to be an independently funded online news organization, has published an article airing the views of UK Muslim Brotherhood leader Anas Altikriti whose accounts at HSBC Bank were recently closed as reported yesterday by the GMBDW. The article begins:
July 30, 2014 Rori Donaghy Muslim organisations and individuals in the UK are still reacting after the HSBC bank wrote to them on Tuesday informing them that their accounts would be shut down.
The Finsbury Park Mosque, Cordoba Foundation and Ummah Welfare Trust all received identical letters informing them that the accounts will be closed because ‘the provision of banking services…now falls outside of our risk appetite’.
The bank did not elaborate further on the decision, which has led to speculation among the organisations that they have been targeted for their advocacy on Middle East issues.
Chief executive of the Cordoba Foundation Anas al-Tikriti, whose organisation focuses on relations between the West and Middle East, said the absence of an explanation has meant he has had to draw his own conclusions on the reasons behind the decision.
‘It’s reasonable to assume this is a campaign against Muslim organisations and individuals who are quite active and vocal on two main fronts: the first is Gaza and Palestine; the second is Egypt,’ he said.
Read the rest here.
As the GMBDW reported in November 2013, Mr. Donaghy was the former head of the Emirates Center for Human Rights (ECHR), a now seemingly inactive advocacy group that was set up with help from Anas Altikriti as acknowledged by Mr. Donaghy himself. The bulk of the ECHR activities centered on accusations and organizing against the UAE which raises questions of why Mr. Donaghy was selected to write an article which served as a platform for the views of Mr. Altikriti including further accusations against the UAE which he and Mr. Doanghy speculated could have been behind the HSBC actions.
The National, a government-owned newspaper in the UAE, recently reported on the ties between Al Jazeera and MEE noting that Mr. Donaghy, who once worked for a Hamas think-tank in Gaza, was the former ECHR Director. In reply to the National’s accusations, the MEE Managing Editor denied any connection between MEE and the ECHR explaining that while “some are activists” the company was not linked to any government or movement. David Hearst also said “What we stress all the time is that you have to move from being an advocate to a being a journalist. It appears that Rori Donaghy has yet to make that move and calls into question the judgment and/or allegiances of the MEE editors in allowing an individual with such an obvious conflict of interest to report on the story of Mr. Altikriti and his bank account.
For the GMBDW post on the HSBC closures, go here.
For a profile on Anas Altikriti, go here.