Iran: New SW broadcasts aimed at Iranian listeners
Publication date: 2001-05-09
What appear to be two new shortwave broadcasts aimed at Iranian listeners have been observed by BBC Monitoring. Both are in the Persian (Farsi) language and are believed to be broadcast via hired shortwave transmitters in Eastern Europe or the CIS.
Radio Payam-e Doost
Radio Payam-e Doost (Radio Message from a Friend) was observed on 5 May and appears to be on the air daily at 1800-1830 gmt on 7480 kHz. The broadcast announces a web site of www.bahairadio.org - the web site is that of Baha'i Radio International and gives the following information:
"On 21 March 1994, Payam-e-Doost went on the air for the first time on WUST 1120 AM, Washington DC. This one hour weekly programme in Persian, sponsored by the Baha'is of Washington D.C., Virginia and Maryland in the United States, has only one aim: to educate its listeners and dissipate misinformation about the Baha'i faith which has permeated the Iranian community for the past century and a half, depriving Muslims and Baha'is alike of a chance to live, work and worship freely and in total harmony in the cradle of one of the most ancient civilizations in the world. Deep rooted misconceptions about the Baha'i faith fanned by religious fanaticism had, for many years, created an atmosphere of doubt and uncertainty about the nature of Baha'i beliefs...
As a result of the programmes aired by Payam-e-Doost many of our listeners have, according to remarkable testimonials, acquired a clear understanding of the principles of the Baha'i faith which promote love, unity and justice.
Since Payam-e-Doost embarked on this important mission we have heard heart-warming comments from every social, ethnic and religious strata of the Persian speaking community who now avow to the fact that their knowledge about the Baha'i Faith was incorrect and attest to the importance of one of the pivotal teachings of the Baha'i faith, i.e. independent investigation of the truth. This principle of the Baha'i faith, which teaches every individual to think freely and independent of tradition, in and of itself is a major step forward in mankind's quest for knowledge and development.
As of Sunday, November 14, 1999 Payam-e-Doost will not only be heard in the Washington Metropolitan area on its regular station, i.e. New World Radio, WUST 1120 AM, but also simultaneously in every corner of the world by all the inhabitants of our global village through the Internet. This is a first for the Persian Baha'is, especially those residing in the blessed land of Iran, the cradle of the Baha'i faith, who have been deprived of too many basic freedoms for too many years. This programme will air every Sunday morning from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Eastern Daily Time in the United States and can be heard on real time on the internet simultaneously. Your comments and contributions will be warmly appreciated."
Radio Barabari (Radio Equality) was heard on 5 and 6 May from 1700-1730 gmt on 7480 kHz. Announcements stated that it was a test broadcast which started on 4 May and that regular broadcasts would commence soon. The following contact details were given: fax number 00 33 1 4345 5704, email firstname.lastname@example.org, web site www.barabari.org The web site says that the shortwave broadcast can be heard on Tuesdays and Fridays - although the tests were observed by BBC Monitoring on a Saturday and Sunday. Nothing was heard when checked on Tuesday 8 May.
The web site states the aims of Radio Barabari as "a platform for breaking the walls of censorship and oppression, to reflect the struggle of the workers and all the wage-earners, to voice the concerns of unemployed, deprived, women, foreign residents, young people, intellectuals and religious and ethnic minorities and all those Iranians who fight for freedom and equality".
©Copyright 2001, BBC Monitoring Media