British Dais for Beslan Murderer

MOSCOW (RIA Novosti, by Vladimir Simonov) — On Thursday, Britain’s Channel 4 broadcast a long interview with Shamil Basayev, in an open and deliberate form of information support for international terrorism.

Shockingly, the program was initiated by British journalists, who worked hard to give an opportunity to appear on TV to a man who is responsible for the death of 320 victims in Beslan in autumn 2004, assumed responsibility for the Nord-Ost hostage taking in autumn 2002, shot dozens of patients in a Budennovsk hospital in 1995, and is guilty of dozens of other equally horrifying acts.

This is a terrorist of Osama bin Laden’s magnitude. Russia has placed $10 million on his head. But a respected British channel wanted him as a talking head so much that it compiled a list of questions, which was handed over to a Basayev envoy in a European capital. Four months later, the efforts of British agents were rewarded: They were told to go to a tiny shop in a Middle Eastern town, where they got a CD of Basayev’s lazy voice telling them he was preparing more Beslan-scale tragedies.

In fact, the terrorist is preparing his hideous acts hand-in-glove with British television. Addressing the world with the help of the British channel, he seemed to be saying everyone who heard him: I am alive and ready to accept more money from sponsors. Money and weapons, which will flow to Basayev now, can be marked "With the kind assistance of Channel 4."

Moscow called on British television to stop acting as the mouthpiece of international terrorism and one of its most horrible leaders. But London replied, first, that it cannot influence the actions of an independent television channel, and second, that it does not intend to infringe on the freedom of speech. I like the wording, especially because London journalists know very well that the leaders of Channel 4, just as the BBC’s board of governors, have cordial relations with Whitehall and are always ready to respect its recommendations.

The Foreign Office can say out loud that the British government firmly denounces the terrorist activities of Mr. Basayev and recall that Britain agreed to put his name on the black list of the UN Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee. But this will not hide the apparent truth that London still divides terrorists into good (who bother Russia) and bad (who threaten the West).

The occupation authorities in Iraq (Britain is playing second fiddle to the U.S. there) promptly closure the Al-Jazeera bureau in Baghdad because it allegedly promoted bin Laden. But according to London’s logic, promoting Basayev is quite admissible because his grenade-throwers are targeted not at the West but at Russia.

The television show with Basayev’s interview is not unlike other double-standard actions of London, such as granting political asylum to Akhmed Zakayev, a former leader of Chechen bandits, and issuing travel documents under a different name to Boris Berezovsky, a magnate on the wanted list of Russian prosecutors.

On April 10, 1992 the IRA blew up the Baltic Exchange in the City. What would the British authorities have said if Channel One on Russian television had showed an interview with the leader of the IRA cell that had planted the bomb? A man in a black T-shirt with the word "Anti-colonialism" written on it would say calmly about his plans for a dozen more such effective blasts. This would be the freedom of speech in its pure British meaning.

Broadcasting Basayev’s Interview
British Media Support Terrorists

MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) — According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the broadcasting of an interview with Shamil Basayev on the British television is direct information support for terrorists.

"Moscow expressed regret for the broadcasting of the interview with notorious terrorist and killer Shamil Basayev on the forth channel of the British TV. We regard this as direct information support for terrorists in the North Caucasus," reads the Foreign Ministry’s statement.

The Foreign Ministry is concerned "that this happened in the country presiding at G8, the group of industrially developed countries which assigns priority to counter-terrorism."

"How such actions can be correlated with the UN decisions to boost the fight against terrorism, the main threat to mankind, in particular, resolutions 1373 and 1566 of the UN Security Council?" the statement runs. The United Kingdom was involved in decision-making, the Foreign Ministry added.

"In the modern conditions any attempts to give the floor to terrorists, killers of innocent people, including children, with references to the freedom of speech are cynical and cannot be justified," the Foreign Ministry emphasized.

"The British authorities should think about the moral consequences which the refuge given to Chechen separatist envoy Akhmed Zakayev may have for British society," reads the Foreign Ministry’s statement.

"The broadcasting of threats of the terrorist and killer who is wanted by the Interpol and on the sanctioned list of the UN Security Council is the violation of obligatory decisions of this body and has nothing to do with human morals and democratic values," the Foreign Ministry stressed.

"We expect proper response from the British judicial system without which any references to the rule-of-law principles would be a mere name," the Foreign Ministry concluded.