Thursday, 24 March 2011

Ofcom’s Adam Baxter . . .

. . . should consider the fate of the LSE’s Howard Davies.

From The Guardian, Ofcom clears Iranian TV station over woman's murder reconstruction:
Ofcom has ruled that Iran’s state-run Press TV station, which has offices in London, did not breach the UK’s broadcasting rules in transmitting a programme that showed an Iranian woman participating in the reconstruction of her alleged part in the murder of her husband.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, 43, whose sentence of death by stoning for adultery triggered an international outcry, was taken from prison to her home in Osku, in Iran's East Azarbaijan province, last December. She appeared in front of a camera for Press TV recounting how she rendered her husband unconscious before the killer electrocuted him.

Ashtiani’s 22-year-old son, Sajad Ghaderzadeh, played the part of her husband in the broadcast. Human rights campaigners described it as a forced confession aimed at collecting new evidence against her and distracting world attention from Iran's embarrassment over the case.
The incredible thing is that reportedly the decision is justified solely on assurances given to Ofcom by Press TV, a station wholly owned by the Iranian regime notorious for its appalling human rights abuses.
In response to a complaint made by the Iranian human rights campaigner Fazel Hawramy, who asked whether it was ethical for Press TV to make the imprisoned son play his murdered father, Ofcom said in a letter, seen by the Guardian, that the broadcaster had not breached its code.

“Given the broadcaster’s assurances that both Sakineh Ashtiani and her son willingly participated in this programme, we considered that the context was not materially misleading so as to cause harm and offence,” Adam Baxter, standards executive of the media regulator, wrote to Hawramy.
Adam Baxter’s words completely discredit Ofcom. He should go now, as should anyone else complicit in this grotesque decision. Otherwise Ofcom will be deserving of a quango bonfire all of its own.

Via Potkin Azarmehr.

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