Iran,  Media

Walking out on Press TV

Eleanor Mills of The Times writes about ditching at the last moment an appearance on Lauren Booth’s Press TV program to discuss the dearth of participation by women in the British election campaign.

Visions of the violent death of Neda Agha-Soltan, the young woman shot dead by Iranian government security forces as she took part in the protests last year over the rigged election, swam into my mind. I remembered the seas of green flags, the awe-inspiring bravery of all those thousands of ordinary Iranians who ventured onto the streets declaring the election void, protesting that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president, had swindled his way to victory, despite the risk of murderous reprisals. Most of all I recalled the terrible accounts of the brutality with which the regime punished protesters; how so many of them had disappeared, their frantic families knowing nothing of their fate, and had been taken to secret prisons where they had been raped and tortured.

Last June, when the demonstrations started, it fell to me to edit an account of the torture of the protesters by the Iranian security services that was so horrific it was almost unpublishable. The version that eventually appeared was gut-wrenching, but the full details were unimaginable. In fact they haunt me. I have wondered many times how any human being could endure or mete out such treatment. They left me with an abiding disgust for the Iranian regime.

Yet here I was, sitting in the green room of the ayatollahs’ propaganda TV station, expected to go live on air any minute, to millions of people all over the world, criticising the British election for not having enough female voices on the stump.

I doubt that Press TV’s audience numbers in the millions. And Mills would have been well advised to do some research on Press TV before showing up for the interview. But good for her.

The abiding question is how Lauren Booth, George Galloway, Yvonne Ridley and other Press TV employees can live with themselves.

(Hat tip: normblog)