In response to the recent sexual abuse accusations against Egyptian investigative journalist Hisham Allam, ARIJ would like to clarify the following:
ARIJ declares its full solidarity and open, unconditional support to the survivors and victims of rape, sexual assault and abuse. ARIJ rejects all forms of abuse by those in a position of power who harm others, especially female colleagues in the field of journalism who are already facing battles on several fronts. We are committed to our moral and professional duty in providing safe working and training environments and safe channels for submitting complaints.
As a training institute which has been the target of smear campaigns, we are fully committed to spreading the culture of ethical investigative journalism amongst our colleagues and all the partners we work with, in line with ARIJ’s Code of Conduct and Gender Policy.
Over the past 15 years, we have worked on providing a safe and healthy working environment that is free of any form of violence or threats of violence, discrimination and hasrassment.
We hereby pledge to include more workshops and special training sessions focused on raising awareness about harassment, self-protection and clear mechanisms to report abuse. Transparency, accountability and truth-seeking are firm convictions at ARIJ and a culture that it seeks to spread and strengthen.
Accordingly, in light of the serious accusations against Mr. Allam, and after serious consultations with partners, donors and friends over the past two days, ARIJ’s current management has begun an internal investigation.
We would also like to announce our mechanism to receive all complaints and testimonies related to this issue. All complaints will be taken seriously and treated with respect and confidentiality. We guarantee full privacy and assure colleagues that they should not be concerned about being exposed as a result of submitting such complaints.
We encourage anyone who has testimony related to the Hisham Allam accusations to send it to HR@arij.net as soon as possible as we plan to refer them to an accredited law firm in Jordan to start the appropriate and necessary legal procedures.
“ARIJ has a policy of zero tolerance towards this kind of behavior and we will investigate it. ARIJ rejects any form of harassment, discrimination, bullying or violence in its projects, training workshops or community,” says ARIJ’s Director General Rawan Damen.
For clarification, while Mr. Allam has participated in ARIJ activities in the past, he has had no association with the network, nor has he done any work with ARIJ since 2015. Today, in light of recent developments, ARIJ has decided to suspend any future collaboration with Mr. Allam and with any party or person defending this behavior, regardless of past relationships with them and whether they are staff or working on a contractual basis with ARIJ.
ARIJ will spare no effort in fighting against all forms of discrimination, violence, abuse of power and sexual harassment.