Rights group says intimidation of BBC families must stop
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran says the Iranian government must stop harassing family members of Persian BBC staff.
In a report released on December 20, the campaign reports that according to Persian BBC director Sadeq Saba, Iran has increased pressure on families of its employees in recent weeks, directing them to get their relatives to stop working for the BBC.
Hadi Ghaemi, a spokesperson for the campaign, commented on the situation, saying: “Targeting the family members of journalists is a brazen breach of international and domestic laws. The international community should not tolerate such actions and must hold the Iranian government accountable.”
The trigger for the recent pressures, according to Saba, appears to be the BBC’s airing of Forced Confessions, a documentary by Maziar Bahari, in early December.
The campaign reports that the Islamic Republic is also applying similar pressure to the spouses and families of prisoners of conscience.
Abolfazl Ghadiyani, a prominent political prisoner, recently published a letter describing the harassment of the family of another political prisoner, Alireza Rejai, whose wife is even being advised to divorce him.
The Islamic Republic has accused Persian BBC of having an adverse political agenda with regards to Iran and, therefore, it regards any collaboration with the BBC as “support of Iran’s enemies.”