Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
THURSDAY, 17 APR 2014
01:00 AM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
20 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Middle East
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
BBC says Iran targeting families of its journalists
Reuters
A+ A-

LONDON: Iranian authorities are increasingly arresting and threatening the families of British Broadcasting Corporation journalists to force them to quit its Persian news service, the BBC’s head said Sunday. Mark Thompson, director-general of the BBC, said he was speaking out to try and embarrass Tehran to end what he said was a campaign of intimidation against Iranian staff who worked outside Iran.

“This is a growing pattern. It’s systematic and a campaign,” Thompson told BBC TV.

“What we have decided to do is to be more public than we have been before in calling for the Iranian authorities to desist from this, to ask for other governments to try and put as much pressure as they can and to hope that the embarrassment of this will get those who are responsible for these actions to think again.”

He said on his blog: “In recent months, we have witnessed increased levels of intimidation alongside disturbing new tactics. This includes an attempt to put pressure on those who work for BBC Persian outside Iran, by targeting family members who still live inside the country.”

There was no immediate comment from Iranian authorities.

BBC Persian staff provide Farsi-language TV, radio and online services. Few Western journalists are permitted to work in Iran where the hard-line Islamic government views much of the foreign media with suspicion.

The BBC’s TV service has often been jammed and is only available to owners of illegal satellite receivers.

Last September, Iran arrested several people for supplying information to the BBC, accusing them of seeking to portray a negative image of the Islamic Republic.

Thompson said the harassment was getting worse, citing the case of a sister of a London-based BBC journalist who he said was arrested in Tehran on unspecified charges, threatened and intimidated. “She was quite clear this was absolutely associated with the fact that her sister was working for the Persian service in London,” he said.

Thompson said such pressure was designed to force people to resign from the BBC or become informants for the Iranian intelligence service.

Despite attempts by Tehran to prevent access to the BBC, he said Iranians were very ingenious at finding ways of reaching the service. “We know from the extraordinary feedback we get [that] it’s watched and relied upon by many, many millions of people inside Iran,” he said.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on February 06, 2012, on page 9.
Home Middle East
 
     
 
BBC / Iran / Persian / Iran
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Tuesday April 15, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Silencing Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s hate talk
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Putin will keep rolling, until Obama says no
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS