Ios letters, emails & online postings (20 October 2013)

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Forty years ago an African student I met at university predicted that the agricultural policies of the European Union would have a terrible impact on his continent ("Desperate voyages are turning the sea into a migrants' cemetery, says Maltese premier", 13 October). He claimed its tariff walls would curtail the ability of African farmers to export to Europe, and that many of them would be driven out of business by the dumping of subsidised EU food.

The result would be the forced migration of hundreds of thousands of impoverished Africans.

Ivor Morgan


I was disappointed by the name the "Pink" List. As a gay man myself, I see no positive connection between the colour pink and the LGBT community. The flag of the global LGBT community is, after all, a rainbow – representing diversity and equality in equal measure.

I applaud the list, and those responsible for its publication. But perhaps next year we could see it rechristened the Rainbow List?

Simon King

Fareham, Hampshire

The editor writes: We are grateful for all the feedback following publication of this year's Pink List. Next year we might ask readers to vote on what we should call it

It is puzzling that Eric Liddell appears as one of the "100 sports stars who would have failed Jack Wilshere's England test".

Liddell was born in China in 1902 and did for a time live in England, as many Scots have. He studied at the University of Edinburgh, and then played rugby for Scotland. In 1922-23, he played for Scotland in seven out of eight Five Nations matches. In 2002 he was inducted into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame. The Eric Liddell Centre, an Edinburgh-based charity, was set up in 1980 to honour Eric's beliefs in community service.

Maybe he fails Jack Wilshere's England test in the same way that Robert Burns and Billy Connolly do.

Ian Laing


The claim by Patrick Cockburn that the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK) had any role in the alleged assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist or that the group has any link to Mossad is entirely baseless and unsubstantiated (6 October). The National Council of Resistance of Iran has repeatedly and categorically denied any involvement in the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists. The primary source of these fictitious allegations is the Iranian regime's Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS). Faced with economic collapse, the prospect of losing its strategic ally in Syria and growing pressure to give up its nuclear weapons programme, the Iranian regime has resorted to fabricating stories against its main opposition in a classic case of misinformation.

The claim that the PMOI took part in suppressing Iraqi Kurds in 1991 is another lie peddled by the MOIS. Its publication violates the principles of journalism and has a clear political agenda. Since the inauguration of Hassan Rouhani, more than 220 people have been executed in Iran. Additionally, on 1 September, 52 members of the PMOI, all "protected persons" under the Fourth Geneva Convention, were massacred in Camp Ashraf, Iraq, by armed Iraqi Special Forces at the behest of the Iranian regime. Seven camp residents were taken hostage by Iraqi forces and are in grave danger of being extradited to Iran, in violation of the principle of non-refoulement.

The article fails to mention that in June, more than 100,000 Iranians from all over the world gathered in Paris to support the PMOI members at camps Ashraf and Liberty. This was a microcosm of the support the PMOI has inside Iran.

Dowlat Nowrouzi

UK representative, National Council of Resistance of Iran

It should not be surprising to learn that intelligence is genetically determined while equally "any child from whatever background can achieve the highest academic ability" (13 October). Social background and genetic inheritance are not mutually incompatible and therein lay the strength of the grammar school system. This is not eugenics, merely common sense.

E A Benson

via email

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