NUJ welcomes UN commitment to investigate threats against BBC News Persian journalists and their families

  • 06 Jul 2023

The confirmation was announced on 5 July during the 53rd session of the Human Rights Council.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has welcomed a commitment from the United Nation's Fact-Finding Mission on Iran, to investigate the targeting of Iranian journalists and their families both inside and outside Iran. 

The NUJ has repeatedly condemned threats by the Iranian regime against Persian-language journalists reporting on human rights breaches in the country. For more than a decade, the Iranian regime has used every legal and illegal tool in their armoury to force NUJ members working for BBC's Persian service to stop telling the people of Iran truths about the country’s regime. Journalists’ families have also been persecuted by those in power as part of tactics used to place pressure on them and stymie reporting.

Since nationwide protests erupted in Iran last autumn, the regime has intensified its campaign against journalists, including by deliberately targeting BBC Persian and Iran International journalists based in the UK. The BBC made submissions about the harassment of BBC News Persian staff and reprisals against both them and their families. 

The NUJ calls on the UN, the UK government, and others to take these threats seriously before such impunity becomes the norm and a blueprint for other oppressive regimes that violate human rights at home, seeking to stop journalists from reporting on rights violations. 

The union calls on Iranian authorities to free all journalists wrongly imprisoned in Iran, dropping bogus cases against them. NUJ members and other Iranian journalists reporting on realities should not be punished for carrying out their professional duty. 

Paul Siegert, NUJ national broadcasting organiser, said:

"If Iran's war on journalists and independent journalism isn't stopped, other countries will follow suit. We urge the UN's Fact-Finding mission to reveal and report the extent to which the Iranian regime targets journalists using methods many of our members have reported.

"Journalists have been subjected to abuse, kidnapping threats and have had assets frozen. Iran must not be permitted to continue such practices and there must be strong international condemnation."

NUJ statement translated into Persian.docx


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