President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at
Columbia University last year.
The UK’s Channel 4 has been slated for broadcasting an “alternative” Christmas message by Iran’s homophobic president.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was picked by the channel for its annual Christmas Day broadcast, which aims to be an alternative to the traditional holiday message by the Queen.
Ahmadinejad has previously denied the existence of homosexuals in his home country, while being accused of allowing the execution of gays and lesbians in Iran.
He is widely described as a despot and a tyrant by Human Rights activists.
Peter Tatchell, the British gay rights campaigner from OutRage!, was quick to express his anger at th broadcaster’s decision.
“Channel Four is aiding and abetting a homophobic tyrant. President Ahmadinejad is a torturer and a murderer. His regime executes gay people, children, journalists, Sunni Muslims, political dissidents and ethnic minorities,” he said.
“This is the equivalent of giving Robert Mugabe a prime-time television slot to promote his propaganda.”
The British government, through its Foreign and Commonwealth Office, commented that “The British media are rightly free to make their own editorial choices, but this invitation will cause offence and bemusement not just at home but amongst friendly countries abroad.”
Channel 4 defended its Christmas message as “an insight into an alternative world view”.