NUJ expresses deep shock at stabbing of Iran International presenter

  • 29 Mar 2024

The union expressed its shock and outrage at the stabbing of presenter Pouria Zeraati, who was set upon by a group of assailants as he left his London home earlier today. Early reports say he is in a stable condition in hospital after suffering multiple knife wounds.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

“This cowardly attack on Pouria is deeply shocking, and our thoughts are with him, his family and all of his colleagues at Iran International. We hope he makes a swift recovery.

“It is too early to know whether this violent assault is connected to the escalating intimidation and harassment by Iran, including the plot to assassinate journalists Fardad Farahzad and Sima Sabet in 2022. However, this brutal stabbing will inevitably raise fears amongst the many journalists targeted at Iran International and the BBC Persian Service that they are not safe at home or going about their work."

The attack comes after revelations last month that journalists living and working in the UK were tried and convicted in absentia by the Tehran Revolutionary court on charges of “propaganda against the Islamic Republic”. All those convicted were completely unaware that the secret proceedings had taken place until the revelations were made public in leaks from a hacking group.

Michelle Stanistreet added:

“The systematic targeting of journalists – simply for doing their jobs – has to stop. The international community needs to up the pressure on Iran and the UN needs to hold Iran accountable for its actions.

“The NUJ sends its collective best wishes to Pouria and hopes he has a swift and full recovery. We will continue to liaise with the Metropolitan Police and the National Committee for the Safety of Journalists, as part of our wider work to stamp out the harassment and targeting of journalists.”

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