Questions to be asked about the BBC's Panorama follow-up to Saving Syria’s Children (SSC) entitled
Posted by Laurie on March 31, 2021, 6:02 pm
Syria’s Schools Under Attack (SSUA). |
Email from Robert Stuart:
BBC Panorama has produced a follow-up to Saving Syria’s Children (SSC) entitled Syria’s Schools Under Attack (SSUA), which can be viewed here: BBC iPlayer - Panorama - Syrias Schools under Attack.
The new programme contains a number of anomalies. I am in the process of drafting a post outlining them.
In the meantime tomorrow Thursday April 1st at 5pm UK time the director of both SSC and SSUA, Darren Conway, will be taking part in a webinar. This will include a screening of an extended version of SSUA and a panel discussion hosted by BBC World Affairs Editor John Simpson and including Dr Saleyha Ahsan, who appears in SSC and SSUA.
Details of the event are here and you can register here.
I have registered and hope to have the opportunity to ask some questions.
I would be grateful if anyone on this list would like to support me by registering and also asking questions.
These are the main questions I would like to ask, but as I may not be selected I would be delighted if someone else were to ask them:
1. How did the BBC Panorama crew come to be embedded with jihadi group Ahrar al-Sham – which was then a partner of ISIS - during the making of Saving Syria’s Children in 2013? Was BBC license fee payers’ money paid to Ahrar al-Sham – a group described by the BBC itself as “hard line Islamist”? (Details here.)
2. The Panorama crew is waved through an ISIS checkpoint in Saving Syria’s Children. This means the BBC was filming in ISIS territory in August 2013. How was this possible? (Details here.)
3. An ambulance carrying victims of the alleged napalm attack had a large ISIS banner in its rear window. The vehicle and its armed occupants were filmed by Darren Conway. How was the BBC Panorama crew apparently able to work at such close quarters with ISIS? (Details here.)
There are also several questions which need to be asked about the new programme (timings are for the BBC iPlayer version):
- The person named Ahmed Darwish who appears at 07:55 is not same person as the Ahmed Darwish who appeared in the original Saving Syria's Children (this was the small shaking boy in the chair). The Violations Documentation Center in Syria (VDCS) lists only one “Ahmad Darwish” as a casualty of the attack. Is this simply an error?
- Omar Mestow, who appears at 10:04, is listed by the VDCS as having died in the napalm attack on 26 August 2013. Please can you explain this anomaly?
- At 12:18 we are told that Mohammed Mestow, Omar’s brother, “died eight days later” (i.e. approximately 3 September 2013). However according to the The Damascus Center for Human Rights “Mohammad Mastou” died as a result of a separate attack two months earlier, on 28 June 2013 (along with “Seham Qanbri” and “Lutfi Assi” who also both featured in SSC). Please can you explain this anomaly?
- At 17:54 the new programme shows footage of the teenage victim Siham Qanbari which it is claimed was shot at Ankara Children's Hospital on 19 September 2013. However in correspondence (relevant extract below*) the BBC has previously said this same footage was filmed at Diskapi Yildirim Beyazit Training and Research Hospital in Antakya, where Siham died. Which is correct?
Some of the other issues surrounding SSC are listed here.
Finally if anyone is able to screen record the event I would be most grateful. Apparently Screenflow is good. I will be having a go using this software but am not very techie.