Probe launched into charity after NHS Chaplain's pro-Taliban Afghanistan visit

Suliman Gani was photographed alongside the Taliban’s Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi
Suliman Gani was photographed alongside the Taliban’s Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi
RTA World
Charlie Peters

By Charlie Peters

Published: 25/09/2023

- 12:00

Updated: 25/09/2023

- 11:55

Human Aid & Advocacy has faced two previous investigations by the Commission

A charity is being examined by the Charity Commission after it sent a delegation to meet with Taliban ministers in Afghanistan over the summer.

The regulatory probe comes after GB News Investigates revealed that an NHS Muslim chaplain working in South London had met with and praised senior Taliban ministers while on the charity trip.

Suliman Gani, who works as a Muslim chaplain at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in South London, was photographed alongside the Taliban’s Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi in July.

Muttaqi was the Taliban’s culture minister during its brutal reign before the US invasion in 2001.

WATCH NOW: GB News Exclusive on NHS chaplain's visit to Afghanistan

During the trip, Gani said that he was “very impressed” by the Taliban government.

In an interview broadcast live on state TV, he said: “Afghanistan now is prospering in the sense that there is peace … I think this is the most critical point for the people living in Afghanistan.”

The imam, whose NHS trust serves over 3 million people, said: “Now that there is a new government in place, I think … what we have witnessed, the different ministers, the organisation, the experience, the mistakes that they had learned from previously.

“I think many of those have been addressed and now we see things are in the right direction.


Suliman GaniAn NHS Muslim chaplain filmed praising the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan has risked becoming a 'propaganda tool', experts have claimedRTA World

“So for me, I found it very organised, I am very impressed.”

Another member of the delegation called on Western countries to end their sanctions on the Taliban government.

Controversial cleric Haitham Al-Haddad said: “We have a message to the entire world: That, first of all, they need to engage more with the authorities of Afghanistan and the Afghani people. So engagement is so important.

“The second point is to end these economic sanctions, really that has to come to an end.”

At the time, Human Aid & Advocacy said it had conducted a “humanitarian visit” and “fact-finding mission” to Afghanistan.

This new probe marks the third time that the Commission has looked into Human Aid & Advocacy.

It was investigated in 2013 after reports that it co-hosted a charity event which had speakers who held “controversial and/or extremist” views.

The Commission discovered multiple financial issues involving fundraising, due diligence and monitoring.

In August 2019, the commission restricted the trustees from transferring funds outside of the UK without prior authorisation.

A month later, it issued a secondary order which restricted the trustees from “transferring or applying any of the charity’s funds or property in Turkey and/or Syria” without permission from the commission.

Human Aid had links with a non-profit organisation which facilitated its work in Turkey and Syria.

The Charity Commission revealed in October 2021 that the police disclosed that the non-profit was being used to provide support to Al-Qaeda associates in Syria.

The charity’s partnership with the terror-linked group started in August 2017 and ended in February 2019. Between February and July 2018, it couriered over £246,000 in cash to the group, but could not demonstrate proper documents in relation to the expenditure of the large sum.

Suliman Gani was photographed alongside the Taliban\u2019s Foreign Minister Amir Khan MuttaqiSuliman Gani was photographed alongside the Taliban’s Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi

RTA World

At the time, the Charity Commission said it “saw no evidence that the Charity’s relationship with the NPO [non-profit organisation] continued beyond when the Charity was first made aware of the concerns.”

The latest assessment is not a formal investigation but allows the Commission to make further inquiries and look for failures and weaknesses in management.

A Charity Commission spokesperson said: “We are aware of reports about Human Aid & Advocacy and as a result have opened a regulatory compliance case to assess this further.”

Gani, Al-Haddad and St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trustwere approached for comment at the time of initial publication.

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