AN award-winning journalist and former social media editor at the BBC has fiercely criticised its response to anger after it edited out calls for a Gaza ceasefire.

It comes after the broadcaster censored the pleas for peace in its iPlayer coverage of the Scottish Bafta Awards in Glasgow.

Before opening up on his own experience working there, Tahir Imran Mian, who was with BBC World for seven years, said: “There is a saying in our language: the sin is bad but the excuse that you give for the sin is even worse."

Director Eilidh Munro, producer Finlay Pretsell and actor Amir El-Masry all used the Scottish Baftas to call for a ceasefire in Gaza, something the Scottish Parliament voted for this week.

Munro and Pretsell won the award for Short Film and Animation – and the BBC cut their entire category. It was the only category not included in the BBC iPlayer edit.

In response, the broadcaster said: “The programme on iPlayer is a highlights show and therefore significantly shorter than the actual event itself. Cuts are made throughout in order to hit the programme’s run-time while representing as much of the event as possible.

READ MORE: BBC responds to criticism as Gaza ceasefire calls cut from Scottish Baftas

“This means we do not broadcast all categories, and these were identified before broadcast. We do not know who has won any of the awards before the event and we have the same information as everyone else before and during the ceremony. Some edits were made so the content was compliant with BBC editorial guidelines on impartiality.”

Mian, who worked as a social media editor at BBC Urdu, has now poured scorn on the BBC over its response to the criticism.

The journalist, who is from Pakistan and currently lives in the Netherlands, said: “It’s even more embarrassing than the action.

“It’s selective censorship. I’ve watched the speech, and it’s a fairly balanced speech. It has nothing wrong in it because they talked about impartiality, but he [El-Masry] did not name Israel, he did not attack Israel. He’s just asking for a ceasefire and praying and hoping for peace.

The National: Creators of A Long Winter (left) and Amir El-Masry (right)

“I don’t see that is in any way wrong, and then they’re giving a shoddy excuse for censoring it.”

El-Masry, who presented the award for best actress in a film, said: “Before I start, I just want to echo the sentiments earlier in saying my heart goes out all women, men and children who are suffering right now in Gaza. Let’s hope and pray that we see peace in the region and an imminent ceasefire.”

He had been pictured on the red carpet with "#ceasefirenow" written on his hand.

Mian asked: “I wonder what part of his speech is against impartiality. Are there sides to hoping for peace? Or to praying for innocent lives? How does that fall under impartiality?”

He added that the BBC has to decide whether "it wants to remain a public broadcaster, or it wants to toe the line of the sitting government” as it loses audiences across the world.

He continued: “Over the years, BBC management has resisted but under this Tory government, it has decided toe the line.

"It is fast losing the credibility it once had and that will not come back.

“The government will come and go, the prime ministers will come and go, and the BBC has to be there, but it has to be there for people who want it to be there – the future generation, they’ve already lost.

READ MORE: Watch the Gaza ceasefire speeches CUT by BBC from Scottish Bafta Awards

“When I was there, I used to say we have to take it [audience loss] seriously, but it’s not. They can say it’s the algorithm,  but I am still seeing so much content and that’s how The National's story came into my timeline [on Twitter/X].”

After the BBC, Mian left the world of media, and since the Israel-Hamas war began, he has not viewed content produced by the broadcaster, as “voices are buried” through censorship.

He said: “I have seen worse speeches, think of Ricky Gervais when he used to host the Golden Globes. I mean, he has said worse stuff and that has aired – it can be found on BBC platforms. He accused Apple of running sweatshops in front of Tim Cook, so this speech is very innocent."

Mian said that as a former editor, he would’ve published the speeches, and the actions taken by his former employer made him “really embarrassed”, adding: “When I was an editor, we were told during such crises to tell everybody to stay on the leash, be very careful, stay away from social media, and we’re under extreme pressure. That’s how it is.”