EU unable to justify its anti-Press TV move: Hamid Reza Emadi

The director of Press TV’s Newsroom says the latest move by the European Union to impose travel ban on nine Iranian officials, including himself, lacks legal basis and shows that Press TV has been successful in spreading truth to the world.

On Tuesday, the European Union imposed sanctions on Press TV CEO Mohammad Sarafraz and Newsroom Director Hamid Reza Emadi for airing a 10-second interview with Iranian-Canadian journalist, Maziar Bahari, in 2009, following post-election riots in Iran. When contacted by Emadi, Michael Mann, the spokesman for the EU Foreign Policy chief, Catherine Ashton, evaded any clear answer.

Press TV has talked to Hamid Reza Emadi to discuss the issue. He is joined by two additional guests on Press TV’s Debate: Scott Rickard, an ex-American intelligence linguist from Florida, and Charlie Wolf, writer and broadcaster from London. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.

Press TV: Mr. Emadi first your reaction to this move?

Emadi: Yes, I am a journalist and I have been subject to European Union sanctions.

I talked to some European Union officials. A few hours back I talked to Michael Mann, the chief spokesperson for the EU foreign policy chief, and he did not have any explanation.

I asked him a very simple question: Why is it that the European Union is imposing sanctions against me without even asking me for explanation?

They are depriving me of my basic right to defend myself, so I wake up and see my name on the sanctions list of the European Union without knowing why.

And when I look at the papers on the journal of the Council of the European Union, I see that they are accusing me of something that I have never done and it is absurd. It is very irresponsible on the part of the European Union. It shows disorganization.

I talked to the spokesperson for the president of the European Union. I told them that this is very disorganized. This is something very, very bad for the European Union that it cannot even defend its own decisions.

They do not have any explanation as to why sanctions have been imposed against me.

Mr. Wolf could you please as a journalist tell me that are you as well concerned about the fact that the European Union is imposing sanctions against one journalist and that is me?

Press TV: Mr. Emadi the thing is, as you know, the reason cited initially by Ofcom when that complaint was made by Mr. Maziar Bahari was that ten-clip interview, we know that back then Press TV rejected those allegations and even now that these sanctions have been posed, Press TV is still rejecting those allegations.

On what ground is Press TV saying that what Maziar Bahari complains is actually baseless?

Emadi: Well, Maziar Bahari never managed to prove that he has been giving the interview under the arrest.

He has talked about certain things that he never managed to prove them. Even when he got back to London and he was released from jail in Tehran, when he went back to London it took him several months before he launched his complaint.

So that means that he consulted certain people and they gave him this way forward, that they asked him to bring charges against Press TV.

Let me remind you of what was there in the package. The 2010 Wikileaks cables said that in 2010 American diplomats and the British foreign office officials, they met in London, in the US embassy in London, and they discussed ways of limiting the operations of Press TV and that is exactly what is happening.

They tried to limit the operations of Press TV. They did not manage to do so. They tried to do it via satellite companies. They asked this Eutelsat guy to order the other satellite companies to ban Press TV. They did not manage to do so because Press TV went into dealings with other satellite companies and managed to remain active in Europe and America and now that they have failed to fight Press TV via satellite companies, they have decided to fight Press TV by imposing sanctions against its officials.

I still did not get my answer. I want one single piece of evidence that suggests that I have been involved in any kind of those allegations against me, the allegations of production and broadcasting of confessions, whether they are forced or voluntarily as the European Union is calling them.

So what I am trying to say is that they did not bring even one single piece of evidence. They just accuse you of something and then they rule and they pass a judgment and that is against international law.

I will fight this case to the end because this is not something that you can let go of.

Press TV: Mr. Emadi the question now, I think it is very vital for Press TV and you as a representative for Press TV to explain to us; why is Press TV calling this the latest move in the West’s campaign against Press TV as a broadcaster?

Emadi: Well, Press TV has come under attacks since 2012 with Ofcom, as the guest in London talked about; Ofcom banning Press TV and then came the German satellite provider and then the Spanish one.

So Press TV has come under attack. This is an unprecedented attack on a media outlet; very much unprecedented in the history of a television.

There has been no other television outlet, no other television in the world that has come under such huge state-funded attack by the European governments, and it shows the extent to which Press TV has been successful.

Press TV has been successful in telling the world what is going on in the West, in European capitals.

Press TV has been able to show the violence on the ground by police force against protesters, the austerity protests in Greece, Spain, even in Britain.

So these countries’ police force are beating people and Press TV is showing those pictures and talking about it.

So it shows that the Western countries, which are talking about democracy and human rights, they are not actually doing what they are preaching.

So that shows Press TV has been successful… I am talking about the attack on Press TV, and this is the latest episode in the campaign against Press TV in Europe.

By Press TV


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