Ofcom revokes Press TV's UK license
Ofcom Chief Executive Ed Richards
In a questionable move and without offering a valid response to the Press TV CEO's letters, the British Office of Communications (Ofcom) has revoked Press TV's broadcasting license and finally removed the channel from the Sky platform.
Ofcom has revoked Press TV's license for what it calls breaching of the broadcasting code.
Earlier, Ofcom also hit Press TV with a fine of 100 thousand pounds. The British media regulator stepped up pressure on Press TV after the news channel covered British police crackdowns on anti-austerity protesters in London and other British cities.
Ofcom is said to have close ties to Britain's royal family. And the cables released by the whistleblower website WikiLeaks show that Press TV's programs on the royal wedding, which many in the country described as extravagant, angered the royal family.
Many observers have also noted that the British government's hostile campaign against Press TV has its roots in the channel's extensive and transparent coverage of the role that the British government played in the killing of tens of thousands of innocent people in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Press TV has extensively given coverage to Britain's support for autocratic Persian Gulf monarchies and the legitimacy it gives to the dictatorial regimes in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
In January, Press TV's CEO Mohammad Sarafraz sent a letter to Ofcom questioning the independence of the British regulatory body given that the British Secretary of State has the power to appoint or remove from office Ofcom's chairman and its members, and even to dissolve the entire organization.
Sarafraz also pointed out that Ofcom is funded by loans and Grant-in-Aid from the British Government.
He further pointed to Ofcom's “glaring contradiction” in its dealings with Press TV. “Ofcom wants to revoke the broadcast license because it has determined that Press TV Ltd. does not have control over the broadcast. Yet at the same time, Ofcom sentences Press TV Ltd. to pay a financial penalty for the broadcast of something Ofcom says it has no control over! How can you possibly explain your paradoxical performance?”
Sarafraz stressed that Ofcom's bid to revoke Press TV's license will not prevent the channel from broadcasting the truth about the British Royal regime.
“It is futile to attempt to conceal the truth from the people of Britain, and those that want to hear our alternative voice will find a way despite your efforts,” he said.