#WPFD solidarity with BBC Persian journalists
3 May 2018
On world press freedom day, BBC journalists in London show support and solidarity for their colleagues.
The Iranian authorities have been systematically targeting BBC Persian journalists in the UK, and their families in Iran, since the service launched satellite television in 2009.
The targeted harassment includes cases of the arbitrary arrest and detention of BBC Persian staff’s families, the confiscation of passports and travel bans on family members leaving Iran to prevent them from seeing their relatives working for the BBC Persian Service, ongoing surveillance, and the spread of fake and defamatory news stories designed to undermine the reputation of BBC Persian staff and their families.
The harassment has led to an urgent appeal to the UN by the BBC.
On the occasion of #WorldPressFreedomDay, we in the BBC @bbcpersian call on Iran to stop its harassment and persecution of us and our families in Iran. #stoptargetingjournalists #BBCPersian152 #journalismisnotacrime #WPFD2018 @NUJofficial @IFJGlobal pic.twitter.com/Y68763MPqZ
— Kasra Naji (@BBCKasraNaji) 2 May 2018
In July 2017, the Iranian government started criminal investigations into the activities of journalists and other staff working for BBC Persian, alleging their work constituted a crime against Iran’s national security and this has been accompanied by an asset-freezing injunction preventing 152 named individuals, comprising mainly current and former BBC Persian staff, from buying or selling property inside Iran.
In October 2017, the BBC World Service filed an urgent appeal with the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, David Kaye, and UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran, Asma Jahangir. The grounds for the appeal were that BBC Persian staff were being targeted because of their work as journalists for the BBC.
David Kaye and Asma Jahangir said in a joint statement: "We are concerned at recent reports that the action has now escalated to direct targeting of family members of BBC Persian staff. The measures are clearly aimed at targeting the BBC and at preventing journalists from continuing their legitimate work with BBC Persian."