When it comes to Kurdish rights, BBC Persian censors its own chief

By: Yoosef (Aso) Abbaszadeh
2015-10-19 22:17:43


A few years ago, the BBC launched its Persian language news channel, known as “BBC Persian”, aiming at delivering news and analysis of Farsi speaking countries mainly Iran. As a part of Iran’s population, Iranian Kurds have their own expectations and demands from the BBC new born route to broadcast news about Kurdistan in general and particularly Eastern Kurdistan (Rozhelat), which currently happens to be located within Iranian borders.

However, the question is has the short history of BBC Persian illustrated such journalistic responsibility towards the Kurds, or has otherwise proven to be the case? Considering the fact that BBC Persian is a part of the tycoon BBC, it is expected that it follows the general policy of the BBC. However, BBC Persian has occasionally conveyed Kurdistan news and affairs from an egocentric pan Iranian standpoint, even at the cost of violating the broader BBC policy and guidance. This phenomenon, which has rightly triggered dissatisfaction amongst Kurdish audience of the BBC, was evident in a recent translated BBC video into Farsi about Syrian conflict, wherein BBC Persian in that video, which intuitively was published in English by the BBC itself, censored Kurdish flag.

On October 12th, BBC Persian published a short 90 second video on its Facebook page (see second link below), addressing Syrian conflict with internal and external entities involved. This type of short videos are initially produced by the BBC and considering the policy the BBC pursues are given to other channels of the BBC including BBC Persian to be translated and published in other languages. 

What is surprising nonetheless, is the fact that BBC Persian in translating the BBC video (see first link below) into Farsi, censors Kurdistan’s flag by presenting it as a green circle as a symbol of the Kurds. The risen irritation amongst the Kurds escalated even further realising the fact that Kurdish flag was actually correctly used in the English copy of the same video that was published earlier in October.

Little wonder this generated scrutinises among the Kurdish audience, specifically on social media, questioning BBC Persian’s unfair and discriminated attitude towards the Kurds and their national symbol, Kurdish flag, as well as for violation of the policy of its possessor, the BBC. In fact the Kurdish long claimed dominance of pan Iranian approach within BBC Persian apparatus is proven to be true, otherwise what is the exemption for omitting or changing Kurdish flag, the symbol of a 40 million nation, while the BBC uses its flag as it is?

 As a great source of knowledge, history teaches a lesson that if junctures of this kind are left not criticised, their reoccurrence in the future will be difficult to avoid. That is the reason that compels every Kurd, especially political parties and social organisations to raise awareness about this incidence of insulting Kurdish national symbol. A mandate that should demand for BBC Persian to correct and republish the above mentioned video and formally announce apologies to the Kurds, something that also would serve the reputation of the BBC for its impartiality in delivering news of the globe.