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Statement concerning Human Appeal’s termination of its relationship with Fatih Seferagic

As-salamu alaykum

Human Appeal has been committed to supporting the most vulnerable across the world for 30 years. We take seriously the concerns of our community, and always seek to uphold our values of transparency and accountability.

We have received feedback from our valued donors and supporters in relation to our ongoing Best 10 Days Tour with Qari Fatih Seferagic, as well as an Eid in the Park event that Human Appeal had agreed to sponsor on Tuesday 20th July 2021, hosted by Eman Channel and Redbridge Islamic Centre.

In all our activities, we seek to further our faith-based values and provide opportunities for our community to partake in the charitable act of giving to those who need it the most. As part of our enhanced processes, we conduct a number of industry-standard assessments that are primarily legal and statutory in nature. We always aim to hold ourselves to highest of ethical and moral standards in order to safeguard the people we serve and protect our supporters who engage in charity through us. On this occasion, it is regrettable that we fell below what was expected of us and what we expect of ourselves.

Human Appeal is aware of the current investigation being carried out by Facing Abuse in Community Environments (FACE) against Mr Seferagic. Although FACE’s investigation is yet to be concluded and is a not a legal enquiry, we take the allegations made against Mr Seferagic extremely seriously.

In light of the gravity of the allegations, we have decided to terminate our relationship with Mr Seferagic and remove him from the remaining dates of our Best 10 Days Tour, effective immediately.

ABOUT OUR SAFEGUARDING CHECKS

In the past five years, Human Appeal has sought to strengthen its safeguarding processes. All individuals and organisations that we work with are subject to a number of detailed (legal and statutory) checks. We utilise industry best practice methods and employ data platforms, including Thomson Reuters services.

To the best of our knowledge, Mr Seferagic has not been convicted of any crimes to date and we are not aware of any current legal proceedings against him in the United Kingdom or elsewhere.

Safeguarding is critical to our work, and we take our responsibility very seriously. At no point, do we allow non-Human Appeal staff to be alone with donors, volunteers or beneficiaries. At this time, we do not believe that a legal or statutory safeguarding breach has been committed in relation to any of Mr Seferagic’s proposed work with us. Our decision to terminate our relationship with Mr Seferagic is discretionary in nature and supplemental in scope to our on-going legal requirements.

We continue to invest and develop our safeguarding and risk assessment processes, independent of any single incident. Moving forward, we will be implementing an additional level of non-legal review mechanism which include social and other due diligence checks for individuals and partners. We will do better not only because we feel we must do so but because we also want to. You can see our policies relating to safeguarding and compliance at https://humanappeal.org.uk/about-us/our-policies, and this page continues to be periodically updated.

IN RELATION TO THE ‘EID IN THE PARK’ EVENT SCHEDULED FOR 20 JULY 2021

After discussing the situation with our event partners, Fatih Seferagic is no longer performing at this event. Therefore, our sponsorship of this event will continue.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Since 1991, Human Appeal has striven to achieve Ihsan or excellence in all that we do, even in the errors that we may sometimes make and the way seek to rectify them:

"[Ihsan is] to worship God as though you see Him, and if you cannot see Him, then indeed He sees you." (Bukhari)

To ensure greater accountability and transparency concerning this incident, we have established a dedicated email service which gives our donors and supporters a direct means to get in touch with us. Please contact us at welisten@humanappeal.org.uk if you wish to get in touch on a confidential basis.

For those who are experiencing difficulties, there are also other services available to you that we would like to highlight:

If you’ve been affected by any crime (regardless of whether it has been reported to the police) and want someone experienced to speak to, call Victim Support (24/7, 365 days a year) on 0808 1689 111 for free and confidential support.

We want to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support in our mission to help those who need it most this Eid.

For further professional or external enquiries, please contact press@humanappeal.org.uk

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