Tuesday, June 18, 2019 11:02

Accused BBC “collaborators” released

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Katayoon Shahabi

Iranian authorities have released Katayoun Shahabi and Mehran Zinatbakhsh, two members of the documentary filmmaking community who were detained for more than two months.

They account for two of the six people arrested and charged with collaborating with the BBC’s Persian service.

The last of the detainees, Mojtaba MirTahmashbi, is to be released in the next few days, says a report. Hadi Afarideh, Nasser Saffarian and Mohsen Shahnaz were released earlier.

Members of the Iranian film community had repeatedly called for their colleague’s release.

The wave of arrests came after BBC aired a documentary about Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

Iran’s intelligence minister announced that Persian BBC was not a regular media outlet but rather had a direct connection with British intelligence services and, therefore, any form of collaboration with it was illegal for Iran’s media and film community.

Persian BBC has announced that it has no employees or collaborators in Iran, and the films it airs have been acquired through international distribution companies.