In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Conspiracy against PressTV: British style

Posted by seumasach on June 21, 2011


20th June, 2011

The British government’s mounting pressure on Press TV and the freezing of Press TV Ltd’s assets are illegal moves aimed at limiting the network’s coverage of the UK politics.

Earlier in the week, The National Westminster (NatWest) Bank froze the accounts of London-based independent television production company Press TV Ltd. NatWest, which is part of Royal Bank of Scotland Group, blocked GBP 200,000 of Press TV Ltd’s income without explanation.

Under British law, freezing the accounts of clients requires a court order or a request from the Bank of England.

Press TV has condemned the illegal step taken by the UK government, arguing that it has not received a court order classifying Press TV Ltd’s programs as being in violation of British regulations.

Legal advisors say banks cannot freeze the accounts of media that has been operating under the regulations of the host country.

An official with Press TV Ltd. says NatWest has refused to explain the reason behind its controversial action. “They’re not giving any reason why they’ve done it,” the official added.

It appears that the politically-motivated decision has been made by the UK in an attempt to cripple Press TV, which often broadcasts news and programs critical of the British government.

The move is another step in a systematic approach to effectively shut down Press TV’s operation in London as openly pursuing this objective would run counter to the Freedom of speech and press principals that the UK pretends to uphold.

This comes after British media regulator Ofcom (Office of Communications) announced that it seeks to issue statutory sanctions against Press TV for what it calls “breaching Ofcom’s Broadcasting Code” after one individual filed a complaint against the network.

This one individual is of course, Mr. Maziar Bahari, who was interviewed by Press TV and other media outlets while in detention in the Iranian capital.

Bahari had initially claimed that his interview with Press TV was conducted without his consent. However, in an interview with the state-run BBC Persian channel he admitted that he had agreed to conduct the interview.

“I said ‘OK, come and interview me,’” Bahari told the state-run BBC Persian.

Press TV has since called Ofcom’s ruling “unfair” but has still fully assisted Ofcom with its investigation.

Furthermore, since the ruling was made official, British communications and media facilities have desperately attempted to force the news channel off-air.

Moreover, WikiLeaks revelations also confirmed that British officials have been discussing ways to restrict the Network’s UK operations.

Freezing Press TV assets only proves that the network is deemed as a force to be reckoned by the British government and attests to the reality of the network’s success in reaching truth-seeking viewers across the globe and offering them a fresh perspective that differs from the distorted media images presented to them by the West

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