In a questionable move and without offering a valid response to the Press TV CEO's letters, the British Office of Communications (Ofcom) has revoked Press TV's broadcasting license and finally removed the channel from the Sky platform.
Press TV has interviewed Lizzie Phelan, freelance journalist, Damascus about Britain's hypocrisy in condemning other countries over freedoms of expression while abusing those freedoms at home and how actions by British state institution OFCOM reflects the demands of the one percent. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: The idea of freedom of expression - and looking at what happened regarding the UK protests - Press TV obviously highlighted that. Please give your impression of David Cameron's statement when after the protests he said we have to have more control over Twitter and some of these personal messaging services.
Isn't that a reflection of the current administration as to their decision now being addressed through the revoking of Press TVs license?
Phelan: Yes, well, how ironic that here I am sitting in Damascus in Syria, which is a country being accused by the British state of lacking all the freedoms that we claim to hold so dear in Britain i.e. the one that you just mentioned, freedom of expression. Of course, Syria has been condemned for not allowing journalists into the country and today we have an arm of the British state for the first time closing down an international channel in its own borders.
Let's not forget that in Venezuela, Hugo Chavez closed down RCTV for a much less flimsier reason than they are giving for closing down Press TV - of course, he closed down RCTV because they were calling for his assassination no less - then the British state and the British press had a field day accusing him of lacking democracy in his country and cracking down on freedoms that we supposedly hold so dear and freedoms that we go around the world bombing other countries in the name of, not to mention Libya, which was being accused of a lack of democracy, freedom of speech, human rights, etc.
So really it is a very dark day for freedom in Britain and it does look like we are moving more and more towards a fascistic state in Britain and the chief executive of Press TV was right to say that this was an act of aggression by the British elite. And of course your previous guests are absolutely right in saying that this is just another part of the ratcheting up of the hostilities towards Iran.
But really what it shows in my opinion is just how dangerous it is for the British elite to have any voice, which is just in the slightest bit different from the barrage of the same media propaganda that we have on a daily basis where really there is very little difference in what is said despite the array of different newspapers and television stations that we have in Britain.
For example, from The Guardian to The Telegraph to Sky News to the BBC, while there may be some differences between these organizations there is one thing that they all hold in common and that is they are all dedicated to criminalizing independent and sovereign states of the global south like Iran - like the government of Ahmadinejad, like Syria, like Venezuela, like China, like Russia.
And so to have a station like Press TV, which provides a different perspective, which isn't about broadcasting war propaganda to justify aggression against independent countries really is dangerous for imperialist countries like Britain.
Press TV: We have this movement going on in the US, the Occupy Wall Street movement and we have what is going on in London to which an eviction notice was just passed - may be this has something to do with the sponsorships behind these media organizations of which you have certain companies that are endorsing these TV stations, of which they have been accused of representing the one percent and of course the one percent have relations with government officials.
There are no sponsorships on Press TV except for may be Iran's oil company, that's about it, there's no other companies, so therefore if we highlights things such as the Occupy movements; such as the war on Gaza when it happened; such as what goes on in the occupied territories, that just rubs them the wrong way and goes against the one percent who own part of that sponsorship. What do you think?
Phelan: Yes and your previous guest was absolutely right to highlight Al Jazeera and I often say that Al Jazeera has pulled off the greatest propaganda trick that actually I've ever seen. Over the past ten years or so during the war on terror they built up a lot of credibility in the Arab Street and in the west among the so-called antiwar circles in their coverage of events in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan.
However, in the last year or so since basically the so-called Arab Spring, we have seen that they have been completely in bed with Western foreign policy and have championed wars in Libya and now Syria and really their coverage is very anti-China and anti-Russia etc.
So really, the only remaining independent voice of Western foreign policy, as your previous guest rightly said, in the English language is channels like Russia Today and Press TV.
You mentioned before about OFCOM and its impartiality - If OFCOM really did care about freedom of speech and impartiality and these things and let's not forget that during Operation Cast Lead in 2008 and 2009, when the BBC refused to broadcast the DEC appeal to raise money for the victims of that attack, OFCOM did nothing despite a lot of pressure.
And where has OFCOM been when Al Jazeera has been proven many times over the last few months over and over again to have been broadcasting fabricated fresh footage from Syria and from Libya.
Of course, we are seeing very much an increasing of the pressure and I'm in Syria now so I will talk about the pressure in the media on countries like Syria and Press TV has been one of the noble exceptions that have provided objective coverage.
So, you are right, the one percent is of course the ruling global elite, the Western elite and through its media, through channels that we've mentioned, through sponsoring these channels the ruling elite likes to enforce what I call Western cultural imperialism. And it is up to states that are victims of western imperialism to build their own effective media and Press TV is one example of that.
Really, what this move shows is that channels like Press TV really are a threat to the one percent and in order to continue to challenge the one percent we need channels like Press TV and we need more initiatives like this. Other countries like Iran and other independent countries should take Press TV as an inspiring example.