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Brits Reverse Decision – No More Media Deals

From a disappointed Reuters:

Defense Ministry bans sailors from selling stories

Mon Apr 9, 2007

By Luke Baker

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Ministry of Defense on Monday banned any more of the 15 sailors and marines held in Iran from selling their stories to the media, reversing a previous decision after widespread criticism.

Defense Secretary Des Browne announced a “review of the regulations” concerning payment for stories after defense experts, former military commanders and members of the public expressed outrage that some had profited from their captivity.

“No further service personnel will be allowed to talk to the media about their experiences in return for payment,” Browne said in a statement.

The ministry had faced a barrage of criticism after two of the captives, following permission to do so by the same ministry, sold their stories to the media.

Faye Turney, the 25-year-old mother who was the only woman captive, gave exclusive interviews to Britain’s leading tabloid newspaper and to a television news program, earning what one newspaper said was 100,000 pounds ($200,000).

She said the Iranians asked how she felt about dying for her country and warned she may never see her daughter again…

Arthur Batchelor, the youngest captive at 20, also sold his story, saying he “cried like a baby” in his cell after he was blindfolded, handcuffed and taunted by guards.

“The sailors and marines will regret it and realize it was not such a good idea to cash in,” Major General Sir Patrick Cordingly, a senior commander during the 1991 Gulf War, told BBC radio. “I hope they give all the money to charity.”

Some of the other 13 have spoken to the media without receiving payment for doing so.

While Turney and Batchelor were accused of behaving like reality TV stars, the strongest censure was directed at the Ministry of Defense, which originally said it had waived the rules barring such sales because of huge public interest…

Somebody in the British chain of command finally woke up.

For the record here is the (low quality) video that Iran has released to counter the claims that the British hostages were under any duress, via YouTube:

And they really don’t look any too worried.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, April 9th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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