Photo: Reuters
Arafat waves to crowds before leaving for Paris
Photo: Reuters
BBC admits Arafat coverage was partial
A BBC correspondent burst into tears when a helicopter carrying Arafat left Ramallah; network now admits coverage was inappropriate

Britain's BBC television network admitted that the many complaints it received, following a report by one of its correspondents in which she burst into tears when Arafat was flown out of Ramallah, were justified.


In a statement publicized on its website, the BBC said the correspondent, Barbara Plett, "breached the requirements of due impartiality."


"When the helicopter carrying the frail old man rose from his ruined compound, I started to cry," she said in the October 30 2004 broadcast.


Her comments caused many viewers to flood the network with furious complaints.


BBC governors initially cleared Plett despite the influx of objections, but this week the network changed its position.


Arafat died on November 11 at the age of 75 after a prolonged illness, though views on the circumstances of the illness are still divided.


A French military hospital report said that Arafat was rushed to hospital due to digestion problems. The report also said that Arafat experienced a drop in his blood platelet levels, due to his general condition.


The report concluded that the cause of Arafat's immediate death was bleeding near the outer brain, causing the brain to sink to the lower skull.


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