Wednesday, July 17, 2019 12:31

Detainees accused of collaboration with Persian BBC

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The organized crime branch of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps announced today that Persian BBC has been waging a “soft war” against the Islamic Republic.

ISNA reports that in a statement issued on February 25, the IRGC accused “Parastoo Dokouhaki, Sahameddin Bourghani, Marzieh Rasouli, B. H. and S. K.” of being Persian BBC agents and committing “anti-security crimes.”

The accusations come despite repeated announcements by Persian BBC officials denying they have any employees or collaborators in Iran.

The IRGC's organized crimes branch says these individuals were instrumental in a so-called “Eye of the Fox Operation” guided by the BBC, adding that they have filed criminal charges against 24 individuals in connection with this case, 10 of whom are outside Iran.

The announcement also indicates that in the next few days the first part of a documentary on the “Eye of the Fox” operation will be aired on Iranian state television.

Parastoo Dokouhaki, a women’s rights activists and one of Iran’s first bloggers, was arrested in January. Two days later, Marzieh Rasouli, another journalist, was arrested in Tehran, followed by Sahammedin Bourghani, also a journalist.

B.H. is the sister of a Persian BBC employee in Europe who was forced to undergo a 40-minute interrogation over the internet while the sister was being held in custody in Iran.

The identity of the last individual with initials S. K. has not been established yet.

Several journalists have been arrested in Iran and accused of collaboration with the BBC since the network aired a documentary about Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei last September.