Tony Benn President Stop the War Coalition adds his signature to an open letter to the British Broadcasting Corporation. The BBC normally a news provider became itself the news story when it refused to transmit an appeal for humanitarian aid for the victims of the war in Gaza, at the end of the conflict with Israel. A number of leading humanitarian campaigners including, Tony Benn, Lindsey German, Andrew Murray, Betty Hunter, Mohammed Sawalha, Kate Hudson, George Galloway MP, Jeremy Corbyn MP and others deliver an open letter to the BBC urging them to reconsider their decision, and asking them to broadcast the humanitarian aid appeal as a matter of urgency to help relieve the suffering of the victims of war in Gaza. The event is accompanied by a demonstration and a march ending in Trafalgar Square. London, 24th January 2009
OPEN LETTER TO THE BBC
Sir Michael Lyons, Chairman of the BBC Trust,
Mark Thompson, Director General of the BBC
Caroline Thomson, Chief Operating Officer for the BBC
Dear Sir Michael Lyons, Mark Thompson and Caroline Thomson
The International Committee of the Red Cross say that conditions for the people of Gaza are “worse than Dafur” but the BBC refuses to allow the Disaster Emergency Committee to broadcast an appeal for aid.
We agree with Government Health Minister Ben Bradshaw, who says the reasons the BBC has given for blocking an appeal for humanitarian aid are “completely feeble” and it was “an inexplicable decision”.
We urge the BBC to reconsider its decision and to contact the Disaster Emergency Committee as a matter of urgency so that its appeal can be broadcast nationally. Not to do so is to deny relief needed immediately for people suffering catastrophic and life-threatening conditions.
Tony Benn President Stop the War Coalition, Lindsey German convenor Stop the War Coalition, Andrew Murray Chair Stop the War Coalition, Betty Hunter Secretary Solidarity Campaign, Mohammed Sawalha, President of the British Muslim Initiative, Kate Hudson Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, George Galloway MP, Jeremy Corbyn MP & other campaigners