Friday, March 06, 2009

Iranian ex-pats stage demo outside BBC TV studios

Supporters of the Secular Pro-Democracy Movement in Iran staged a demo outside the BBC TV studios to protest against the lack of coverage of recent events at Tehran Polytechnic by the BBC correspondent in Tehran.

The demonstrators stood at the main entrance and handed out leaflets as well as refusing to leave unless their grievances with BBC coverage of Iran events was registered with the BBC News desk and the BBC Press Officer.

The protesters eventually left when the BBC agreed to allow one representative on behalf of the protesters to enter the building and register their criticisms of the BBC Iran coverage in a face to face meeting with a BBC representative.

Below is a transcript of the leaflet handed out to BBC staff during the protest.

Why we are Protesting Here
In the last week, there have been serious disturbances at Tehran Polytechnic. Hundreds of hired thugs and hoodlums as well as security forces have entered the university campus and clashed with Iran’s pro-democracy students. Nearly one hundred Iranian pro-democracy students from the Polytechnic have been arrested and sent to the notorious Evin prison. Twenty are in hospital as a result of their beatings and inflicted injuries and seven are in critical condition. More dissident students are hiding in the dormitories; the regime’s forces have surrounded the polytechnic but are not entering the dormitories as yet in fear of a recurrence of the student uprising in July 99 that spread to 19 Iranian cities.

Yet despite all this happening, the BBC correspondent in Iran has remained silent on the news preferring to report on safer subjects like Iranian women taxi drivers etc. While the plight of Iran’s real students is ignored by the BBC, whenever there is a government sponsored staged demo attacking foreign embassies, for example, the mob is referred to by the BBC as ‘Iranian students’, giving a totally wrong image of who Iran’s real students are to the viewers. So much of the human rights abuse and the struggle of the Iranian people against the theocratic dictatorship is going unreported because the media correspondents fear expulsion from Iran and losing their comfortable posts.

As UK TV licence payers we demand better and more objective coverage of the protests and human rights abuses in the Islamic Republic of Iran by the BBC. This is vitally important especially now that the Islamic Republic funded Press TV is operating in UK and is brainwashing the English speaking Muslim audience with their misinformation party-line broadcasting.

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