BBC alleged to have fabricated Syria atrocities - article by Robert Stuart
Newly-discovered images of alleged BBC "napalm victim": In June 2014 a Netherlands resident contacted me, expressing anxiety about being recognised in a frame from 'Saving Syria's Children' which I had posted on Facebook. Although the woman was not among the group of alleged napalm/thermite victims in the frame in question, I subsequently recognised her in a You Tube video shot at Atareb Hospital, Aleppo on 26 August 2013, apparently in the guise of a victim of the same alleged events portrayed in Ian Pannell and Darren Conway's BBC reports. This is the latest report in Robert Stuart's extraordinary investigation into BBC war propaganda.
1. In June 2014 a Netherlands resident contacted me, expressing anxiety about being recognised in a frame from 'Saving Syria's Children' which I had posted on Facebook. Although the woman was not among the group of alleged napalm/thermite victims in the frame in question, I subsequently recognised her in a You Tube video shot at Atareb Hospital, Aleppo on 26 August 2013, apparently in the guise of a victim of the same alleged events portrayed in Ian Pannell and Darren Conway's BBC reports. I have written about this here and here.
A number of images currently viewable on the Facebook account of one of the woman's relatives would appear to make it plainer still that the person who contacted me is indeed the same person who appears in the You Tube footage of the aftermath of the alleged Aleppo incendiary bomb attack. Details here.
2) My attempts to secure documents relating to Saving Syria's Children from the BBC through a Freedom of Information request appear, somewhat inevitably, to have run aground.
Following a decision notice from the Information Commissioner's Office upholding the BBC 's rejection of my request, I had argued in an appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber) that the evidence set out in my blog:
...clearly demonstrates that the BBC has committed the greatest betrayal of audience trust imaginable by a news broadcaster – the fabrication of an atrocity for the purposes of war propaganda. Such an egregious transgression is quite possibly unique in the history of broadcasting.
I further argued that Saving Syria’s Children and related BBC News reports had breached Article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which states that “Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law”.
In response the Tribunal has issued a Case Management Note (3 May) observing that:
"Mr Stuart’s rights under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights may be capable of being litigated and remedy given to him if a Court finds there was a breach of those rights. The question of whether reports are genuine or fabricated may also be capable of being independently investigated."
However the Tribunal "is unable to grant Mr Stuart a remedy for what he says is a contravention of his rights under that Covenant" and directs that I must provide it with reasons why the information I have requested from the BBC was or is “not held for the purposes of journalism, art or literature”.
The deadline for submitting a response is 24 May.
3) A high quality copy of Saving Syria's Children is currently available on Vimeo. The section which forms the focus of my blog commences at 30:38. As BBC Worldwide has long since blocked all You Tube postings of the documentary, please consider downloading the Vimeo copy while it is available. This version is the highest quality I have seen to date and has already yielded a number of interesting new details, such as an apparent glimpse of the Dutch woman pictured above (see update here).
4) Further to my submission of shocking images of a staff member of UK registered charity Hand in Hand for Syria's "flagship medical facility", Atareb Hospital, Aleppo, posing with an array of weapons and munitions, an officer of the Charity Commission's Investigations Monitoring and Enforcement department has responded (12 April):
"I am currently considering the information that you have provided in order to determine what regulatory action, if any, is required. I confirm that I will provide a more detailed response once I have completed my assessment."
5) A reminder of the two sets of graphics highlighting some very startling inconsistencies in accounts of the alleged events of 26 August 2013 by BBC International Correspondent Ian Pannell and BBC 'Trust Me I'm A Doctor' presenter Dr Saleyha Ahsan and my recent presentation on Saving Syria's Children for From Stop War.