Letter: Early Timor warning

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The Independent Culture
Sir: For the sake of your readers, I should correct Andy Kershaw's suggestion that the decision to evacuate BBC journalists from East Timor was made by managers sitting in London and far removed from the situation (The Week in Radio, 11 September).

The views of the highly experienced team on the ground are the starting point for any decision to withdraw.

They had already been attacked and were receiving a lot of information suggesting that the safety situation would deteriorate further. Given the limitations on their ability to work, and the likelihood that they would be attacked again, we agreed with them it would be wise to pull back.

This was a very difficult decision, all the more so because the BBC's correspondents have been in the forefront of the coverage of this conflict over a very long period of time. We hold the opinions of our correspondents in very high esteem and always listen to their views in such situations.


World News Editor, BBC

London W12