Friday, May 22, 2015

195 Freedom of speech

The following amended letter was submitted to the Christchurch Press in response to an article dealing with 'Freedom of Speech' dated 19 May 2015:

"The article by the chief editor Joanna Norris (19/05) got me rather confused. In 2009 I filed a complaint with the New Zealand Press Council on exactly the same grounds as quoted by Ms Norris which is enshrined in the Bill of Rights and relating to "freedom of Speech' Ms Norris obviously referred to Art 19 of the International Covenant of Civil Rights and Political Rights (ICCPR) and specifically sub 2, which states unambiguously:
Every one should have the freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art or through any other media of his choice "
The issue I raised in my complaint to the Press Council was the fact that references to alternative sources of information, usually added in brackets, were consistently excised from my letters.  This in my opinion is inconsistent with the stated right 'to receive and impart information of all kinds, regardless of frontiers etc'.
It becomes very clear from Article 19 sub 2 grants the public the right to seek, receive and impart information from alternative sources !
However the Press Council accepted the then editor's argument that Art 19 sub 2 of  the  ICCPR  relate exclusively to (quote) "actions between government and its people" and the aforementioned Covenant has nothing to do with "freedom of  speech" when applied  to letters from the public submitted for publication in a news paper."

(to be continued with a Postscript)


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

190 Irans Nuclear Program

Letter to the editor published 8 April 2015

The US assertion that it were the sanctions imposed on Iran that made them come to the negotiating table, is a bit of a red herring. One could also maintain that the sanctions never worked and may drive Iranians into the Russian and Chinese camp. The hue and cry of the Israelis and their friends in Congress, that unless someone intervened, Iran could have the bomb within a few years unless Iran "was forced to stop", doesn't stack up with realities either. They have been saying this for the last 20 years. However Iran could unquestionably have produced a nuclear bomb many years ago if it had wanted to. Iran's nuclear program already started as early as the late fifties under the then Shah of Persia with US support. The country is endowed with a robust industrial base, exceptional engineering universities and a well educated population. Israel yielded a nuclear bomb within a few years, so did South Africa, India and even poor Pakistan and North Korea. So it is hard to believe that Iran had been unable to build the bomb within the last 20 years.


Letter to the editor published 16 April 2015 in response to a letter from Erin Eldridge.

Erin Eldridge made it quite clear in her letter (Press 10/04) that she is quite unable to refute the essential logic of my argument. I do not want to waste to much space on her outpourings, but one thing needs to be mentioned. What in fact is extremely naïve is to base bombing Iran, as advocated over the years by Netanyahu and his friends in Congress, on the misquoted allegation "wiping Israel of the map".
This is a misquote originating from a speech delivered by Ayatollah Khomeini to university students in the Farsi language.  What Khomeini actually said was: "This occupation regime over Jerusalem must vanish from the arena of time".
Anonymous wire service translators translated this wrongly to: "Israel must be wiped of the map" and was subsequently used as a pretext to accuse Iran of secretly building an atomic bomb.
Iran has far more to fear from Israel than the other way round.