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Ep6: Mayday - The One With Sean Penn

“I went to meet with Assad to see what kind of access we might get.” James is accused of a horrific crime. When James Le Mesurier fell to his death in Turkey in 2019 he left behind a tangle of truths and lies. Mayday tells the extraordinary real story of the man who organised the White Helmets – rescuers who film themselves pulling survivors from bombed out buildings in rebel-held areas of Syria – and investigates claims that, far from being heroes, they are part of a very elaborate hoax. James Le Mesurier – his detractors say – was a British secret agent, pulling the strings. So when his body was found by worshippers on their way to morning prayers, there were a lot questions. AMENDMENT: Sean Penn has confirmed that it was Eva Bartlett not Vanessa Beeley he met in Los Angeles. This does not change the story materially. Produced, written and presented by: Chloe Hadjimatheou Editor: Emma Rippon Researcher: Tom Wright Mixed by: Neil Churchill Arabic translation and additional research: Vanessa Bowles, Abdul Kader Habak Turkish researcher: Nevin Sungur Narrative Consultant: John Yorke Original music: Nick Mundy and Bu Kolthoum Production Coordinator - Gemma Ashman REFERENCES “’The White Helmets” wins Best Documentary Short.” Oscars YouTube Channel, 03 April 2017 “President Bashar al-Assad's opinion on White Helmet's Oscar” from Egy Ember YouTube channel, 11 Mar 2017, source listed as Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) “KEEP TALKING - Vanessa Beeley on The White Helmets & the billionaires funding Regime Change” Ian Fantom YouTube channel, 17 July 2019 “Vanessa Beeley -The tale of the White Helmets in the Western media, on the ground in Syria and beyond” Mot Dag TV, 13 February 2019 “Panel Discussion on White Helmets Organization in Syria” UN Audiovisual Library video, 20 December 2018 “UK Column News” Brian Gerrish, Mike Robinson are joined by Alex Thomson and Vanessa Beeley for today's UK Column News. 14th October 2020 “Interview with Vanessa Beeley” HPU Al-Hawash Private University, 21 November 2018

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