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Thursday 29th March - LIVE

David Mazower | 18:03 UK time, Thursday, 29 March 2007

Evening all. It's Hasit here in the World Have Your Say office in London. Tonight we talked about the British naval personnel who are still being held in Tehran. It was thought a female officer would be released soon, but that doesn't look so likely now. We also discussed the continuing problems in Zimbabwe - 14 African countries have been meeting in Tanzania to try and find a way forward. And an American blogger has stopped writing on her website after being made a victim of 'cyber-bullying'. Last, but not least, our Gaza correspondent Allan Johnston is still missing, and we're going to keep reading out your messages of support until he turns up safe and sound.

First up, the diplomatic crisis between Iran and Britain. We had callers from both countries talking to each other, and plenty of messages from around the world.

Lubna in Iraq:

"Hi folks, I believe that iran behaved unreasonably about this crisis. As a muslim, i believe Allah would never accept insulting prisoners"


"The UK should stop acting like the 54th state of the US, & apologise to Iran as Bush can't be of help to Blair"


"I think there are a lot of little children playing at soldiers in the latest hostage crisis."


"Isn't Iran a puppet of Russia? Why would Putin want to hold British military personnel hostage?"

Tom, USA:

"The British are in Iraq under false pretenses and lies, let alone operating anywhere near Iranian waters. Blair should offer the apology requested and get this stupid affair ended immediately."

James, USA:

"I say the British should just apologize and get the sailors back home. Lose a little face, but save your troops and end a stalemate."

Riz in Sydney:

"I think the instability in Iraq has pushed Bush n Blair to adopt 'Plan B'.. 'Intimidate Iran'"

Kim says:

"Another war, fabulous idea. It's served us so well in the past. That's not the way to solve problems!"

Jamie Carney:

"How could anybody say that Britain and the US could win a war against Iran when we have failed in Iraq? War has never been the answer."


"You continually refer to Iran as "capturing" the sailors not "arresting" them. Thugs, murderers and kidnappers "capture", while security officials "arrest". Your own reports are further demonizing the Iranians which is not helpful."

Joe, New York City

"The Iranian leaders should take note that neither diplomatic nor military confrontations are won through pride. If the Iranians don't cave only their people will lose through public humiliation or physical harm."

Sanusi in Prague says:

"The British government should dialogue with the Iranian government to avoid another war in the Gulf"

The Great Scantini:

"There is so much bias in this prog that the only logical support lies with suicide bombers in Iraq and the revolutionary guards"

Erin in Detroit:

"In relation to what the caller said about the regime falling in Iran, the same thing is going on with George Bush. It seems as if many people think that this is a game of battleship. Who can sink who first. For someone to suggest that the US or the UK bomb their refineries is terrible. As an American, i do not want a war with Iran."

Phillipe in France:

"The British/Iranian problem probably started with a local difficulty ie somebody making a navigational error. Lets step back and drop the angst."


"I wonder why the hullabaloo about British terrorists captured in Iranian waters.They should be kept in an Iranian version of d Guantanamo Bay until they are tried under Iranian anti-terrorism law."

Elton in Liberia:

"What I don't understand is how did those well trained Brits allow themselves get caught? Especially knowing what iran is capable of!"

Moses in Nigeria:

"The broadcast of footage of the British sailors is unacceptable. But it is acceptable to show late Saddam in his underpants!"

Chingaipe from Zambia:

"Iran deliberately picked British Sailors to embarrass the civilised World. Let the politicians in London apologise and bring this to end."

Robert in Uganda:

"What were the British soldiers doing there so far from Britain? Didn't they & the US also break some Conventions in going 2 war? Why should you wave the banner of UN Conventions whenever Westerners are in trouble? What about the Iranians held in Iraq by the US?"

Obi in Nigeria:

"Iran wants a war. If the UK attacks Iran, it must use maximum force. Iran wants to humiliate the UK .its part of a regional power game."

Ado says:

"Nothing lasts forever, even the might of the US and its allies."

Muhammad in Ghana:

"Iran has the right to guard and protect her maritime borders"

Paul in Mozambique:

"Why is that UK and US are always involved in war controversies? The most dangerous regimes are in London and Washington, not in Iran."

After the news at half past, we moved on to Zimbabwe, with plenty of callers in that country and around Africa:

Tedla Asfaw:

"Who has the right to choose and replace the prime minister of England or the president of USA? It is the British or American citizens not neighboring Europeans or for that matter our neighbor Canada or Mexico. Why this is different in Africa. Why ask neighboring countries to give an ultimatum to Mugabe?"

Adam in Portland, Oregon, USA:

"Zimbabwe is an African problem. The US/UK should do nothing more than support Democratic processes in theory and urge UN oversight at the most. However, the people in Zimbabwe should remember that it was pressure from the US and UK on the Rhodesian government that helped put Mugabe in power in the first place."

Pat in Zimbabwe:

"This despot and his cronies are murderers and should be brought to justice. They massacred 20 thousand innocent people in the early 80s and got away with it. Now they do as they please with impunity!"

Martin, Amsterdam

"Zimbabwe is 3 nations: shona, ndebele and white - why pretend it's some western 'country?"


"Mugabe has been in power for far too long. You would never see Mexico take the United States President on or question his legitimacy because you can't be president for more than eight years."

Thomas in Chicago, US writes:

"Talks on Zimbabwe aren't enough at this moment.Talks have failed us in Sudan, Iran and Israel. Let action be applied."


"Mugabe may be dictatorial, but since britain is involved i will give him my support."

Mansour in Monrovia:

"The West is behind the problem in Zimbabwe. Please, African leaders wake up and solve it the African way."

Chioma in Lagos:

"I'm really angry with African Leaders! Why are they so greedy & insensitive! Robert Mugabe should leave office and start thinking of making Peace with God!"


"why is it that the MDC only ever talk about wanting power? And you BBC guys always condemn Mugabe and never look at the good that his government has done"

Next, a prominent blogger said she's been forced to stop posting on the web because she's been getting death threats. Kathy Sierra has had gruesome photoshopped images of her put on other websites. She wants the blogosphere to combat the culture of abuse online.

Riz in Sydney wrote to us again:

"With technology getting this advanced, i wonder if something like 'e-law' is possible?"

Jason in Wisconsin

"This is the price we pay when we allow complete anonymity on the internet. Death threats are rare but any internet user is aware of the prolific problem known as Trolls. There is no escape."


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