East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell has written to the Director of the BBC asking if the Corporation intends to scrutinise the response by Gulf states to the refugee issue and what action those countries are taking to the humanitarian crisis on their doorstep.
The text of the letter is below:
Dear Lord Hall
I am writing regarding recent BBC television coverage of the current refugee crisis.
On a daily basis National BBC news has had film crews at scenes covering the current dilemma of many people trying to enter Europe, these have featured refugees from Syria, Pakistan and other countries in the Middle East and North Africa. While I understand entirely the massive public interest in reporting this, many of my constituents and licence fee payers generally are asking when are the BBC going to deploy camera crews to the neighbouring Arab Countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and the UAE to ask their Governments what they are doing to help assist with this humanitarian disaster?
I and many licence fee payers believe it would be an entirely legitimate public interest story that the BBC should have reporters in, or on the borders of, these Nation States asking citizens and Government officials what they are doing about this massive human crisis on their doorstep?
In Parliament I have raised with the Government the need to put more pressure on other Governments in the Middle East Region such as some of the Gulf States to open their borders to take more refugees. The television viewing public should be informed and shown how some comparatively wealthy neighbouring Arab Countries appear to continue being closed to refugees. It appears to many that footage, particularly of young children in the arms of adults wanting access to safety after fleeing their own Country, can carry very strong emotional messages to the UK. At the same time hardly any coverage at all is given to what seems to be disinterest on the part of some Governments in the Middle East to this major humanitarian crisis.
Can you indicate when the BBC will expedite film crews to highlight this matter?