Husband loses C4 Ofcom complaint

August 26, 2010

The broadcast regulator, Ofcom, has rejected two complaints made against Channel 4 after the August 2009 transmission of its programme, Divorce Jewish Style.

Londoner Edward Saleh complained of unfair treatment in the programme, which featured his ex-wife Miriam, who had not received a get, or religious divorce, from her husband. He also complained that his privacy and that of his son had been "unwarrantably infringed".

It is the third setback for Mr Saleh since the programme was shown. He complained to the Press Complaints Commission about the JC's coverage of Mrs Saleh's contribution to the programme. When his complaint was rejected, he then complained about the JC's coverage of the PCC ruling. This, too, was rejected.

Ofcom's ruling said: "It is a fact that Mr Saleh has not yet given his wife a get within the Orthodox Jewish divorce process, and it was not unfair for Channel 4 to refer to Mrs Saleh as a 'chained wife'. Mr Saleh was not the focus of Mrs Saleh's comments. Rather, her contribution focused on her frustrations with the Orthodox Jewish divorce process and the inconsistencies she has experienced with different Beth [sic] Din."

Mr Saleh complained that Channel 4 had failed to state why he had not given the get. But Ofcom ruled that this "was not relevant to Mrs Saleh's contribution. It is for this reason that it was not unfair for Channel 4 not to give Mr Saleh an opportunity to respond."

The regulator also rejected his privacy complaint. It said: "Balancing Mr Saleh and his son's legitimate expectation of privacy against Mrs Saleh's and Channel 4's right to freedom of expression, Ofcom is satisfied that there has not been an unwarranted infringement."

Mrs Saleh said this week: "I still don't have a get but I won't give up."

Last updated: 2:28pm, August 26 2010