BBC Farsi: “We are not able to verify news about Mohammad Ali Taheri
In its latest program, titled “Didehban,” that responds to questions and answers, as well as criticisms, by the audience of this news network, BBC Farsi announced that even through has contacts with the family of the founder and spiritual leader of Interuniversalism, the network is unable to verify most published news about him and the status of his case.
After the publication of contradictory reports about the Mohammad Ali Taheri’s hunger strike, unclear status of his legal case, and his physical conditions in past few weeks, additional conflicting news surfaced that spoke about his hospitalization at Baghi-o-Allah- Azzam Hospital in Tehran. This was followed by some of Master Taheri’s students and followers gathering in front of the hospital and demanding to visit him to ensure the validity of the news and to verify the condition of his physical health. But, in the absence of coverage of Mohammad Ali Taheri’s legal case and reflections on the gathering of Erfan Halgheh followers, many took to Cyberspace and criticized BBC Farsi News.
Jamsheed Barzegar, one of the editors of BBC Farsi News, in a recent segment of Didehban discussed and explained reasons for his network not dedicate attention to the case of Mohammad Ali Taheri and his legal proceedings during their news broadcast. He explicitly emphasized during this interview that he is unable to publish any precise news about the status of Mohammad Ali Taheri, because even after direct contacts with family and those close to Master Taheri he has not been able to verify independently any of the published news about him.
Prior to this, and in different time periods, BBC Farsi had broadcasted many news segments about Mohammad Ali Taheri by quoting the same family members and the same people who claim to be close to him. What has happened that a large network such as BBC is no longer able to verify contradictory news that have been circulating in past two years by the family and attorneys of Mohammad Ali Taheri, is a question that has not been answered! But, the key to answer this question is in considering the past events and the evaluation of Mohammad Ali Taheri’s case. The answer could be easily traced in the letter addressed to Ahmed Shaheed, United Nation’s special reporter on human rights violations in Iran that was published by Shahnaz Niroomanesh. In this letter, Master Taheri points out that his family is under tremendous pressure to cooperate with the interrogators and his attorneys are unable to act independently, are also under pressure by the government, and are not allowed to visit him.
At the same time, “International Campaign for Freedom of Mohammad Ali Taheri,” Known as Free Taheri, the only organization actively seeking to protect Master Taheri’s rights during the 4 years after his arrest, while his family and those close to him remained silence, had taken on the responsibility of publishing news about his case. This campaign in January of 2015 announced that unfortunately Mohammad Ali Taheri while being on hunger strike was martyred in an undisclosed location outside Evin prison.
After the announcement of Master Taheri’s passing various involved people entered the scene to influence his case, to damage the truths about him, and to conceal his martyrdom. Day by day the contradictory news and the confusing behaviors of the new actors have been creating a larger gap and a greater conflict among these characters. We are witnessing the height of the conflict to where the news editor of an established network, such as BBC, after interviewing the torn family of Mohammad Ali Taheri is unable to independent verification of their statements about Master Taheri.