Al-Jazeera Anchorwomen Quit Over On-Screen Style Clash

06/01/2010 10:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Five Al-Jazeera anchorwomen have quit after the station's deputy editor-in-chief Ayman Jaballah allegedly made "offensive remarks" about their wardrobe, the Daily Mail reports. Joumana Nammour, Lina Zahr al-Din, Jullinar Mousa, Luna al-Shibl and Nawfar Afli regularly appear on the broadcasts wearing make-up and with their hair uncovered. However, Al-Jazeera maintains that Jaballah has the right to tell news anchors how to dress.

The women complained to the station's management in January about Jaballah. But an inquiry cleared him of any wrongdoing:

"The on-screen style and general appearance of broadcasters and announcers are the legal right of the network to determine and develop," it ruled, adding that it had to take into account "the spirit and principles of the channel and the image it wishes to present".

A staff journalist told the AFP, "This collective resignation is not motivated just by the growing pressure on the presenters concerning their dress code, which was evoked by the media. The conflicts run much deeper."

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