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Video Obtained by VOA Contradicts Iranian Police Official


Wednesday’s program   will air video clearly showing a well-marked police vehicle running into demonstrators, killing two people

Washington, D.C., December 29, 2009 – VOA’s Persian News Network (PNN) will air video during its Morning Edition program that contradicts statements about clashes with demonstrators made by Iran’s Deputy Police Chief Ahmad-Reza Radan. Wednesday’s program will air video clearly showing a well-marked police vehicle running into demonstrators, killing two people. This contradicts a statement by Radan that two people died in an accident involving an unidentified vehicle. PNN’s Morning Edition airs at 0600 Tehran time/0230 UTC with replays at 0700, 0800 and 1000 Tehran/0330, 0430 and 0630 UTC.

"VOA Persian News Network is delivering accurate and objective news and information to an audience in Iran that needs to know what’s going on with the violent and deadly clashes between demonstrators and police," said VOA Executive Editor Steve Redisch. "Our Persian-language programs are following the backlash of government security forces and the crackdown on opposition figures very closely."

Earlier in the week, PNN received a phone call from relatives of Ali Mousavi Habibi Khameneh, nephew of opposition leader and former Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, confirming that he had been killed in an apparent political assassination. They contacted PNN a second time to report that Ali Mousavi’s body was missing when they went to retrieve it for burial.

PNN television, radio, and Internet programming continues to focus almost exclusively on the demonstrations that continue throughout Iran since they began on the holy day of Ashura. PNN has posted a special comments page on its Internet site (www.VOAPNN.com) and is asking the question, “Where is Iran heading?” VOA has received scores of emails that are being read on air.

One email said, "The way government confronts people proves that Iranian government has no respect for the national politics and has no wish to peacefully end the crisis." Another reply said, "Considering that the [Iranian] government is not willing to pull back it seems the country is moving towards civil war."

PNN is also broadcasting images from hundreds of videos received from inside Iran along with telephone interviews with activists and eyewitnesses to the demonstrations in Tehran and other parts of the country.

VOA has the largest combined radio and television audience in Iran of all international broadcasters, with one in four adult Iranians tuning into a VOA program at least once a week. VOA broadcasts seven hours of television daily, repeated in a 24-hour format, and five hours of radio. Broadcasts are available round-the-clock on the Internet.

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. Government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts approximately 1,500 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 125 million people. Programs are produced in 45 languages and are intended exclusively for audiences outside of the United States. VOA is the leading U.S. international broadcaster.

For more information, please call VOA Public Relations at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail askvoa@voanews.com.

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