World Health Organization strongly slammed on Sunday allegations made by the London-based Saudi Asharq al-Awsat newspaper on the religious ceremonies in Iraq, denouncing the mention of its name in an “unfounded” news.
The Saudi newspaper caused uproar in Iraq after publishing a fabricated report by the WHO viewed as fueling sectarian tensions.
However the WHO on Sunday denied the statement attributed to it, which it said appeared earlier this week, and which was rebuffed by the organisation on Friday.
A statement by the group denied the report as “false news,” pointing out that “The [World Heath] Organisation condemns in the most severe terms the use of its name in a fabricated report that does not in any way conform to the principles of the organisation,” read the WHO’s statement.
“The organisation is investigating the source of the false report and could take legal action against its publisher,” the statement added.
Rana Sidani, a spokeswoman for the WHO said the organisation was shocked at the publication of the fabricated report by Asharq Al-Awsat after the international group had denied the report on Friday.
Sidani, who made the remarks in a televised interview, added that the WHO is consulting with the Iraqi ministry of health on possible legal action against the paper.
Following the condemnations by the WHO and Iraqi officials, Asharq Al-Awsat published a correction and announced that it has fired the paper’s editor in Baghdad who was responsible for the publication of the story.
Meanwhile, public condemnations of the paper continue, with calls to prosecute the paper and ban it from circulation for insulting Iraqi women.
Source: Al-Manar Website