Thursday, April 27, 2006

U.N. Honors Spokesperson for Iranian Hostage Takers

The United Nations sinks to a new low. From Little Green Footballs:

The United Nations Environment Programme gave out its 2006 “Champion of the Earth” awards on April 21. The awards are intended to honor individuals or groups “for their creativity, vision and leadership, and the potential of their work and ideas for replication across the globe.” One of those justified in receiving this award — in the U.N.’s estimation — was Iranian Massoumeh Ebtekar. She was vice president of the Islamic Republic of Iran and head of the department of environment there from 1997-2005. But Ebtekar has another name — “Screaming Mary.” It was given to her by the American press during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis. Mary was her nom de guerre and Ebtekar was the hostage-takers’ spokesperson.

A December 2004 article in The Atlantic Monthly provides more details about the U.N.’s latest “Champion”:

she was especially disliked by many of the hostages ... in part because of her endless propagandizing. She would saunter through the captured embassy with a camera crew in tow, urging the hostages to describe their ordeal in upbeat terms. “You have been treated well, haven’t you?” was her constant refrain. During one such filming session, in the final days of captivity, Army Sergeant Regis Regan got so fed up with Ebtekar that he let loose with a stream of invective and was dragged into a hallway for a beating.

Read it all at Little Green Footaballs.

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