Further information. The sources I quoted said that the BBC World
Service Trust was NOT involved in training Iranian journalists. This
was in fact erroneous. If you look up ZigZag in the following pdf ...
you will see the following paragraph about ZigZag.
The 'ZigZag' journalism training project for Iranians continued across
the year, combining face to face training with an innovative,
youth-oriented website. The combined package creates an alternative
middle ground information source within Iran's polarised media scene.
New media is not only embraced in delivering the project (online
training, virtual newsrooms, website) but also in conducting research.
Research using online surveys, interviews and web metric analysis is
exploring the projects multiple audiences (trainee journalists,
registered users and visitors) and how new media has facilitated
learning and communication. Trainees have come from diverse ethnic,
geographical and religious backgrounds. Research activities to monitor
impact have included: base/endline trainee survey; a research paper
measuring the impact of social networking on learning, performance
(collective learning); web log analysis to track trainee engagement with
the online 'ZigZag Academy'. Trainees have fed back that they now
understand the difference between being an activist and a journalist,
and that they are now better able to report with impartiality and
objectivity, characteristics that were lacking in so much in the
blogging of the summer of 2009 and since.>>>end of quote.
On 11/11/2017 13:08, Douglas Rankine wrote:
see url: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazanin_Zaghari-Ratcliffe
For some time I have been puzzled by the arrest, detention and eventual
conviction of Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe in Iran on espionage or
subversion charges. You may not have heard her. The story which has
been widely circulated in the media is that she is a 37 years old
charity worker who, being of Iranian origin had gone back home to visit
her mum, taking her 22 month old daughter with her, and that after being
there on holiday for a few weeks. On 3rd April 2016, she was detained
and arrested at the airport by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as she
was about to leave. Her daughter, Gabriella, also had her British
Passport confiscated and has been placed in the care of her grandmother
in Iran. She is married to a UK subject, and holds dual British and
Iranian Passports. Her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, an accountant from
North London, has been running a very high profile and well organised
campaign to get her released and has denied that she has done anything
wrong, has said that she only visited Iran on holiday, and that she
works as a charity worker for a charity called Thompsons Reuters
She was eventually charged and taken before an Iranian Judicial court
and found guilty of subversion or espionage, I know not which, (or the
Iranian equivalent) and sentenced to 5 years imprisonment. It is also
said that she was not allowed to have legal representation...
You can read more about her below and there is a petition appealing to
the UK government with over 1 million signatures on it.
see url: https://www.change.org/p/free-nazanin-ratcliffe
She is said to be being kept in solitary confinement, and has had a hood
placed over her head during interrogation and is at the end of her
tether, suffering severe mental stress. Her daughter is being allowed
to visit her in prison, twice a week.
A recent statement made by the UK Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson,to a
House Select Committee In Parliament said that she was only a charity
worker, just teaching people how to be journalists.
Johnson's statement has been interpreted as proof that she was guilty of
other charges which may now be levelled against her and, if found
guilty, sentenced to another 5 years.
The Foreign Secretary has since apologised and said he got it wrong and
has been in contact with the Iranian authorities and is hoping to go and
visit Iran and see her as well as try to try and convince them that she
is an innocent party and negotiate her release so that she and her
daughter can return to England.
Now, whatever the merits of her case is...I know not whether she is
guilty or not guilty, as I wasn't there in court, nor am I aware of all
the facts of the case; there is some background, which is easily
discoverable from the statements made so far, and on other parts of the
web, which may have led to the view taken by the Iranian authorities and
the court, and why it differs so much from the UK government view. What
Boris Johnson said was quite correct and clear, and I can't quite
understand why he was so maligned for saying what he did to the select
committee, or his statement used to say that she was working on a
project in Iran, when she was obviously on holiday. He was obviously
well briefed by his civil servants, the foreign office officials, which
is why he said what he said...which is that Nazanin Zaghari- Ratcliffe
was a charity worker.
She was working at the particular time in question for The Thomson
Reuters Foundation Charity as a Project Manager.
Her previous employment history was that she also worked for BBC Media
Action. A charitable trust which was created by the World Service of
the BBC, to help train journalists...amongst other things, who come from
countries like Iraq in how to become good and better journalists. As
we all know, in today's world, of mass surveillance of all means of
communication; it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to keep
one's communications with informants private, far less, secret. And, if
a journalist is going to be good at his/her job, they must not only be
good with words, philology and gathering news, but learn how to use the
latest cryptological skills, and techniques for keeping their
communications with others, secret and anonymous, so as to protect
themselves and their informants from various state intelligence and
security services. The so-called Arab Spring in Egypt showed how
important such things are. However BBC Media Services do not and have
never had any projects going on in Iran, most other places in the Middle
East, yes...but not Iran.
see url: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC_Media_Action
Another interesting piece of information about BBC Media Action, is that
is not only funded by the World Service and the British taxpayer, but it
also negotiated some funding from the US government via the Broadcasting
Board of Governors to the World Service Trust..and then on to the BBC
Media Action, about which a number of US organisations complained most
bitterly, saying that the US should come first...
So, you can see...that whilst it is perfectly legitimate and above board
to fund organisations such as charities and philanthropic, cultural or
heritage organisations in foreign countries for the purposes of
enlightening them into the free, Christian, and democratic way of life,
through freedom of the press and other media, which exists in their own
countries. The states of those countries might just construe that the
foreign and government policy of those countries towards them are those
of subversion, espionage and sedition, including the coaching and
teaching of journalists on how to avoid being caught by their own
security and intelligence services, so that they can convince their
populations about what a nasty lot their leaderships are, whilst, the
providers of the education are really very nice, democratic, humane and
want to treat everyone as equals with equal human rights on the other....
see url: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-21230687
Now that IS and the Caliphate has been defeated in its attempts to
overthrow the Syrian dictatorship in the Middle East by a combination of
internal and external forces, including the funding of freedom fighters,
Kurds, and various other oppositions to overthrow de facto governments;
the use of military means, armed forces, bombing, chemical warfare, the
involvement of the US, the UK, France, Turkey, Syria, Saudi Arabia,
Israel, Bahrain and Iraq on the one hand, and Iran, Qatar, Yemen, Russia
etc on the other, who are now continuing their fight against one another
by proxy, in the Yemen and the Lebanon...where is it all going to end up
and where is it all going to go....
Maybe the world should go "green" after all, and stop using fossil
I trust that you will enjoy this little adventure into the world of
fantasy in the foreign policies of both democratic states and
dictatorships in our world of today.