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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; ...
I thought you should be aware of this. I wrote an editorial for Iran va Jahan last weekend entitled, Will CNN Never Learn.

I wrote the editorial based on an article that had been sent to me by an Iranian Student in Iran. Most of you are probably aware of the story, but it was about a young student “Hamid” who had, according to the report, provided video of the regime’s attack on the student dormitories. reported that the Hamid had provided CNN with a copy of the footage. Hamid was subsequently arrested. It was reported that he had swallowed additional footage just moments before his arrest. He was then taken by the regime, to Evin prison where they performed surgery in the prison to retrieve the footage. Hamid later suffered infections and last Monday, died.

Sunday morning (before Hamid’s death) after hearing this story and out of concern for the health of this young man, I decided to take the report and circulate it to the English-speaking world. My hope was that if we could get media attention to his plight, the regime might make sure he received proper medical attention.

After drafting the editorial I called CNN, asking them to confirm or deny the report. I told them the article was written in Farsi. They said they had people who could translate it. I emailed them a link to the story (around 1PM PST). They confirmed that they received it.

I was told that the person responsible for making comments was at home for the weekend but that they were going to contact her at home and forward my email to her. They asked me by what time I needed to hear their response. I told them that I needed to hear from them before 10PM PST. I was told they would get back to me. They never did.

A few hours later the story was published on the website: Iran va Jahan. The story was then linked on a number of other sites. But after the death of Hamid I assumed interest in the story had faded. Then Thursday, I noticed a “Editor’s Note” under my editorial on Iran va Jahan.

Will CNN Never Learn?

Repeating their Iraqi mistakes in Iran.


It appears CNN is once again in the business of burying news stories when their reports might embarrass their host country. If it were not for a student from Iran I might not have heard of this report. Fortunately the world of the Internet makes it increasingly difficult for stories to remain hidden from the public. The story I am referring to was published on and while written in Persian is available on the net.

I contacted CNN for a response but they chose not to. is reporting that an Iranian student, Hamid, provided CNN with video of the attack on the student dormitories by the regime. The student was arrested by the regime and taken to the same prison, Evin where the Canadian/Iranian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi was tortured. Kazemi eventually died allegedly under the hands of the regime official Saeed Mortezavi, Tehran's Chief Prosecutor. The story of her murder has been international news for the past week.

But unlike Kazemi whose photos of the Evin prison remain in the hands of the regime, Hamid was successful in getting his footage to CNN. According to this report CNN is refusing to air the student’s footage, claiming it would endanger his life. But since they refused to air the footage the story has not received international attention and his life is now in grave danger.

It was reported that as the regime’s enforcers arrived to arrest him Hamid, he ate additional footage to keep it from the regime. They report that this young man was then taken to Evin prison where the same official responsible for the death of Kazemi ordered immediate surgery in the prison to retrieve the footage in his stomach. Since that time, due to infections caused by the surgery they were forced to move him to a hospital where it is reported he has four different infections.

Apparently CNN has not yet learned it lesson about protecting tortuous regimes. Just a few months ago CNN admitted that it sat on a variety of news stories in Iraq that would have exposed the nature of the Iraqi regime (New York Times, Editorial | April 11, 2003, Friday The News We Kept To Ourselves, by CNN producer Eason Jordan).

In both cases they use the same excuse that they are protecting the lives of their sources of information.

In reality, the only thing keeping the regime from killing this brave Iranian is international awareness of his situation. The regime needs to maintain the illusion of respect for human rights to provide the Europeans and Japan with an excuse for further economic ties. If CNN were to broadcast this report and attribute it to him it would provide him with the notoriety needed to keep him from being one more unnamed student executed by the regime. It is time for CNN to stop protecting this regime in order to maintain its office in Tehran. When journalists sell out their ethics for rating it destroys the value of a free press to protect the innocent from corrupt governments.

I hope CNN will reconsider its position on this story. It may save a life and perhaps redeem the soul of that network.

Editor's Note - On July 24, 2003, Iran va Jahan received the following statement from CNN Public Relations with regards to the above story:

"A Statement From CNN...

It is entirely untrue that CNN declined to air a video tape purporting to show an attack by agents of the Iranian regime on students in their dormitory. CNN was never offered such a tape, does not know if such a tape exists, does not have an office in Iran and never has.

CNN Public Relations"

Since I had not heard from Iran va Jahan, I wrote them telling them that I was going to investigate the source of the report. I have not heard back from them yet.

I then wrote asking for help with the source of the report. I have not heard back from them either.

This morning I received an email from Iran that had published a correction to their report.

The student who sent me this said, "At this link, Gooya got a letter from CNN, advising them to recorrect the news of Hamid. They recorrected the news but still insisting on existing of such tape and the fact that CNN has that video tape as well.”

The later today, my editorial on Iran va Jahan was removed and the following is in its place.

Will CNN Never Learn?

July 20, 2003

Iran va Jahan



"A Statement From CNN...

It is entirely untrue that CNN declined to air a video tape purporting to show an attack by agents of the Iranian regime on students in their dormitory. CNN was never offered such a tape, does not know if such a tape exists, does not have an office in Iran and never has.

Please remove this story and any links from your website.

Thank you.

CNN Public Relations


I am still trying to get to the bottom of this story, but felt that you should know what is going on. I don’t want to pursue a report that is false, but I also don’t want to participate in a cover up. I will keep you posted.


"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”

3 posted on 07/26/2003 1:26:15 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; Texas_Dawg; McGavin999; Eala; freedom44; happygrl; risk; ewing; norton; ...
Jul. 25, 2003. 09:05 AM

Editorial: Get tough with Tehran

Pulling Canada's ambassador from Iran, as Prime Minister Jean Chretien has done, should be but the kickoff in a spirited campaign to draw global attention to the fatal injury suffered by a Canadian photojournalist in gravely suspicious circumstances in a Tehran prison.

Ottawa should also lobby for a United Nations probe of Zahra Kazemi's death, and press for the return of her remains.

Nor should we be put off by Tehran's allegation yesterday that Vancouver police "criminally" killed an Iranian earlier this month. Keyvan Tabesh was shot brandishing a machete at police.

Kazemi suffered a fatal blow to the head after she was arrested for taking pictures. Canadians want to know who authorized her arrest, how the injury occurred and whether anyone will be held to account.

Canada imports millions of dollars worth of luxury goods from Iran every year. We can get along with fewer Persian carpets, and less caviar and pistachio nuts, if Iran doesn't co-operate. And we don't have to continue hosting Iranian students here.

Kazemi's arrest and death was "horrible," as Chretien noted. And her speedy burial this week, thwarting a Canadian post-mortem, was contemptuous. Canadians are outraged, as are many Iranians. That anger must show.
4 posted on 07/26/2003 2:41:06 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.)
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To: DoctorZIn
Thanks for the update.
I suppose one reason none of the media contacts I made responded, was because they did some checking also, and couldn't find anything to back it up. Thy have to be a lot more careful what they print than what we put on the thread, or even email out to others.Though if we're not a reliable source of news stories, we'll end up on their Spam list.
7 posted on 07/26/2003 5:08:17 AM PDT by nuconvert
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To: DoctorZIn; All
Dr. Zin - CNN is still ignoring the fact that US-based Iranian satellite broadcasts are being jammed on behest of the Iranian government by transmitters in Cuba. If it were CNN and their uplinks, the whole rest of the broadcast media world would be on the story like ants at a picnic. Since it's just you guys, it's conviently ignored.

Keep reminding the media that if they can silence your TV station, they can silence all broadcasters. Go to the owners / adsalespeople - bypass the editors / newsies.

10 posted on 07/26/2003 7:38:12 AM PDT by jriemer (We are a Republic not a Democracy)
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To: DoctorZIn
Thank you for the ping.

And, I appreciate all of your digging on the CNN story.
12 posted on 07/26/2003 7:56:05 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife (Lurking since 2000.)
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To: DoctorZIn
I heard a quote from Otto Von Bismark that went something like:
...never believe anything until it has been officially denied at least twice...

I'd bet on CNN exercising cover up power.
This is not a good time for the big-time news agencies:
BBC, CNN, NYT are all skating on the edge.
15 posted on 07/26/2003 8:58:51 AM PDT by norton
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