Friday, June 10, 2011

UK hell bent on silencing PressTV: Poll



Source: Press TV
http://www.presstv.ir/detail/183952.html

A new survey highlights a predominant view that the UK is bent on silencing Iran's English language Press TV news network due to its reports exposing London's misguided policies.

According to the survey of 6605 people conducted by Press TV, 77.82 percent of participants stated that the primary objective behind the UK government's intensifying pressure on the Iranian news network was to silence the broadcaster because it sheds light on the dark side of British policies within and outside its borders.

A total of 15.16 percent of the survey respondents expressed the belief that the UK was attempting to discredit the channel in international public opinion.

The remaining 7.2 percent participants said the UK sought to remove the channel from Sky platform or impose a punitive fine on Press TV.

The government has launched a smear campaign against Iran's Press TV following the extensive coverage the new network provided regarding a number of major issues gripping the European power, including the unprecedented student protests over tuition hikes that were met with a brutal police crackdown on protesters as well as the march by hundreds of thousands against UK government's public spending cuts.

Recent documents released by Wikileaks appear to confirm the notion that UK officials have been discussing measures to restrict Press TV's UK operations.

In April, the National Westminster Bank, Commercial Banking office froze Press TV Ltd's business account without any prior notice, claiming the accounts would be permanently closed in February 2011.

Meanwhile, in an article published on January 16, 2011, British journalist and broadcaster Lauren Booth charted UK's efforts to assist the US in blocking the company that sells documentaries and series to the Iranian news network with an identical name.

Booth, who is former British Premier Tony Blair's sister-in-law, reiterated that the Israeli-backed pressure began when the company started its activities four years ago, as part of an effort to "use Ofcom as some kind of offshoot Hasbara body."

Press TV has also been singled out for its challenging and critical coverage of the British royal family and their flagrant disregard for the common UK citizen amid the Europe-wide economic crisis.

In the latest efforts by the UK to bring further pressure on Press TV, the London-based Office of Communications (OFCOM) came up with a ruling that the Iranian broadcaster's airing of a 10-second extract from an interview with Iran-born, Western journalist Maziar Bahari while he was being held in an Iranian jail breached the regulator's rules.

On July 1, 2009, Press TV reported on an armed attack on a Basij military base in the Iranian capital, Tehran.

The story included a ten-second clip of an interview conducted with Bahari, in which he said, “On Monday, June 15 [2009], I sent a report about the attack against the base, a military base of Basij to Channel 4 News as well as to Newsweek Magazine.”

Major state-sponsored British media outlets such as the British Broadcasting Corporations (BBC) and Channel 4 aired the manipulated footage that showed what appeared to be an incident of unrest near Tehran's Azadi Square, during which a number of Basij forces were shown shooting at what was claimed by the British media to be 'peaceful protesters,' although it was evidently not clear who and what the targets were.

Press TV later aired a more detailed version of the same event that clearly showed images of rioters attacking a Basij military base with stones and petrol bombs, while the guards were making great efforts to defuse the situation and prevent assailants from accessing the base's arms cache, which contained hundreds of weapons.

The longer footage clearly showed that the previous reporting by the state-run BBC and Channel 4 had been biased and distorted as they deliberately failed to show attacks by rioters on the military base which prompted the guards at the military base to react.

OFCOM was formed under Britain's Communications Act of 2003 that brought five different British media regulators together.

A quick look at senior decision makers at OFCOM demonstrates that the regulator is mostly made up of former Channel 4 and BBC executives, some of whom are well-linked to and influenced by powerful pro-Zionist politicians.

Colette Bowe, the 63-year old OFCOM chairperson, is reportedly paid £200,000 a year to coordinate the body's different committees. Bowe enjoyed the exclusive support of Peter Mandelson, the main economic planner of the Labour party who is a Jewish politician with an obvious Zionist mindset.

Millie Banerjee, who was reappointed to the Board of OFCOM in October 2007 after serving for a five-year term, held a non-executive post in Channel 4 between 2000 and 2002.

Tim Gardam, who was appointed to the OFCOM board on January 1, 2008, is a broadcasting sector veteran with a 25-year career that began at the BBC.

Gardam is currently a member of Content Board and chair of OFCOM's Nations committee, a member of the DTT Allocation Committee and a member of the Nominations and Remuneration Committee.

Although OFCOM officially lacks the authority to examine the content and accuracy of state-funded BBC programs, the official British broadcaster is entitled to introduce candidates for positions at the regulatory body.

OFCOM oversees the technical aspects of BBC programs but not their content.

Meanwhile, the staff at Press TV Ltd have been intimidated and threatened by members of the terrorist Mujahedin-Khalq Organization (MKO) in London. Yet, the British government has turned a blind eye to such incidents and may have even facilitated their efforts as MKO elements in Britain continue their intimidating acts.

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