Letter to Jeremy Corbyn MP re: BBC Panorama ‘Saving Syria’s Children’

On 16 December 2015 I gave copies of the letter below, plus enclosures, to Jeremy Corbyn MP and Emily Thornberry MP. (I have embedded several links in the text to provide further information).


Contact details supplied

16 December 2015

Dear Mr Corbyn

BBC Panorama ‘Saving Syria’s Children’ and associated BBC News reports  
(See: https://bbcpanoramasavingsyriaschildren.wordpress.com/)

I have been researching the above material since the BBC’s first report of an alleged incendiary bomb attack on an Aleppo school was broadcast on the BBC One Ten O’clock News of Thursday 29 August 2013, just as parliament was voting on possible military intervention in Syria. [1]

I believe there is compelling evidence which raises grave questions over the authenticity of some of the BBC’s footage. My work has been endorsed by former UK ambassador Craig Murray and by Middle East expert Dr Christopher Davidson, Reader in Middle East Politics in the School of Government and International Affairs, Durham University. The material was also discussed in a report by Russian broadcaster RT. [2]

Some points of note are:

  • The testimony of a former commander in the Free Syrian Army, based in Aleppo in August 2013, who avers that the events depicted in the BBC’s reports did not occur.
  • The identification of a 52 year old Netherlands resident who appears to have participated in scenes filmed on the day of the alleged attack in the guise of an incendiary bomb victim, alongside individuals also filmed by Darren Conway.
  • The connections between the charity featured centrally in ‘Saving Syria’s Children’ (Hand in Hand for Syria) and the Syrian opposition, including the family relationship between Hand in Hand for Syria executive Dr. Rola Hallam and prominent Syrian National Council advocate Dr. Mousa al-Kurdi. [4]
  • The personal connection between Dr. Saleyha Ahsan, who is filmed volunteering with Hand in Hand for Syria in ‘Saving Syria’s Children’, and a British army officer who runs large-scale medical simulation exercises which “mimic even the most severe of injuries” and which employ “professional casualty simulation (make-up) artists who normally work in the film industry.”
  • The selective blocking by BBC Worldwide of all YouTube copies of ‘Saving Syria’s Children’, over and above other editions of Panorama.

There is a great deal more, which I discuss in my blog https://bbcpanoramasavingsyriaschildren.wordpress.com/ which also contains my formal complaints correspondence with the BBC on this matter.

Seumas Milne has written:

There is no point in romanticizing a BBC golden age. The corporation was always an establishment institution, deeply embedded in the security state and subject to direct government control in an emergency…[with] around 40 percent of the staff… vetted by MI5. [5]

I believe a public investigation into ‘Saving Syria’s Children’ is needed.

Yours sincerely

Robert Stuart

Encl:

  1. Fabrication in BBC Panorama ‘Saving Syria’s Children’ – print out of blog home page https://bbcpanoramasavingsyriaschildren.wordpress.com/
  1. BBC Propaganda – Craig Murray, 16 October 2014 https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/10/bbc-propaganda/
  1. In the age of media manipulation how much can we afford to take on trust? – OffGuardian, 22 September 2015 http://off-guardian.org/2015/09/22/in-the-age-of-media-manipulation-how-much-can-we-afford-to-take-on-trust/
  1. More puzzles about BBC’s “Saving Syria’s Children” documentary – OffGuardian, 27 October 2015 http://off-guardian.org/2015/10/27/more-puzzles-about-bbcs-saving-syrias-children-documentary/

Notes

[1] The website OffGuardian observes:

As it happens the motion for intervention was unexpectedly defeated by a narrow majority. If this had not happened the BBC’s footage would unquestionably have served as very timely and useful PR in support of the coming war against Assad.

http://off-guardian.org/2015/10/27/more-puzzles-about-bbcs-saving-syrias-children-documentary/

[2] Ofcom’s recent finding against the RT report is discussed in a feature on the website OffGuardian (see 4th enclosure in this letter). I do not agree with the construction that both RT and OffGuardian put upon the editing of Dr. Rola Hallam’s words, however I endorse RT’s wider charge of fabrication in the BBC’s reports, a charge which the station stands resolutely by in the face of the Ofcom finding.

http://off-guardian.org/2015/09/22/in-the-age-of-media-manipulation-how-much-can-we-afford-to-take-on-trust/

[3] The event at which Conway appeared to contradict Pannell was hosted by the Frontline Club, London.  Video of the discussion is being withheld from the Frontline’s website, contrary to the organisation’s usual practice.

[4] Hand in Hand for Syria co-founder and chairman Faddy Sahloul has expressed the following bloodthirsty sentiment in an image posted on Facebook:

WE WILL BRING ASSAD TO JUSTICE; NO MATTER WHAT LIVES IT TAKES, NO MATTER HOW MUCH CATASTROPHE IT MAKES

The image was “liked” on Facebook by Hand in Hand for Syria co-founder, executive team member and trustee, Fadi Al-Dairi.

Photographs available on the internet depict a Hand in Hand for Syria nurse ostensibly treating the wounds of a child “rebel” fighter in an approving propaganda piece. The same nurse was filmed by Darren Conway in ‘Saving Syria’s Children’.

[5] http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/feb/27/seumas-milne-on-pinkoes-and-traitors-by-jean-seaton-review-my-father-the-bbc-and-a-very-british-coup

Advertisements

2 responses to “Letter to Jeremy Corbyn MP re: BBC Panorama ‘Saving Syria’s Children’

  1. Pingback: Letter to Jeremy re: “Saving Syria’s Children”Alternative News Network | Alternative News Network

  2. Dear friend,

    I am thrilled to share with you this news: CanDo, the first crowdfunding platform focusing on humanitarian aid, is now live at http://www.candoaction.org !!

    At CanDo we are working to transform health humanitarian aid in war-devastated communities by catalysing life-saving local humanitarians in Syria and by making it easier for everyone to be a humanitarian.

    As you know, millions of people in Syria are in urgent need of aid and resources but the current system does not provide support for the local aid workers. In fact the local humanitarians, who deliver 75% of humanitarian action, only receives 1% of funding. At CanDo we aim to change this by making it easy and straightforward for anyone in the world to play a role in helping save lives.

    We do this by connecting engaged citizens like you with local humanitarian organisations operating in communities impacted by war via our newly launched crowdfunding platform.

    I am excited to invite you to join our humanitarian movement. We believe that people are the next superpower and that together we can create a big impact. You can join by sharing this news with your loved ones and/or by directly becoming a humanitarian yourself and making a contribution.

    But most importantly, do let me know what you think about CanDo: This is our beta launch and any feedback is greatly appreciated.

    Please like us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram, and Twitter, and invite interested friends and family to do the same. We are using the following hashtags #OurTimeToMove #PeoplesSuperpower & #CallOnTheCrowd

    Let me know if you have any questions and I look forward to hearing from you.

    Best,

    Rola

    Dr Rola Hallam

    Founder and CEO

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: