File photo of BBC Persian television channel studio (2009)

Picture caption

The UN specialists name on governments in international locations the place BBC journalists dwell to guard them

UN human rights specialists have demanded Iran stop harassing and intimidating journalists working for BBC Persian and different Persian-language information retailers.

The journalists have endured loss of life threats, prison investigations, the freezing of property and defamation.

Some family have been held in degrading situations and ordered to inform members of the family to depart the BBC.

The harassment reportedly intensified when the journalists lined the mass anti-government protests in November.

The unrest prompted a bloody crackdown by the safety forces. Amnesty Worldwide mentioned greater than 300 folks have been shot useless, whereas a Reuters information company report put the loss of life toll at 1,500.

Iranian authorities dismissed these figures, however acknowledged killing some “rioters”.

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The strongly-worded assertion issued on Wednesday by UN particular rapporteurs Agnes Callamard, Javaid Rehman, David Kaye and Michel Forst highlighted the case of a BBC Persian TV presenter who has been the topic of loss of life threats, allegedly by Iranian authorities.

Rana Rahimpour advised the UN Human Rights Council on 9 March that she had obtained a written message saying that she, her kids, her husband and her aged mother and father could be assassinated inside a month.

The message additionally mentioned that Ms Rahimpour could be the primary worker of the BBC to be killed, and that, after her assassination, it could be the flip of different BBC Persian workers.

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“These allegations are extraordinarily regarding and if confirmed, would point out that the Iranian authorities are ready to make use of drive extra-territorially, in violation of worldwide regulation,” the particular rapporteurs mentioned.

“Harassment, surveillance, loss of life threats in opposition to journalists, inside and outdoors home boundaries violate worldwide human rights regulation, together with the fitting to bodily integrity, the fitting to life and the fitting to freedom of expression.”

They added: “When these acts are performed extra-territorially, as with BBC Persian Providers, these acts violate worldwide regulation regulating the usage of drive in occasions of peace. These in the end represent severe threats to international safety and thus demand sturdy reactions on the a part of the governments of the international locations the place BBC Persian Service journalists reside.”

The particular rapporteurs mentioned the reactions included “implementing safeguards to guard the integrity of journalists, their households and their career”.

In a separate improvement, BBC Director Basic Tony Corridor issued an attraction to the brand new secretary of Iran’s Excessive Council for Human Rights, Ali Bagheri Kani, saying he hoped it might “open a brand new chapter in relations between the Iranian authorities and the BBC”.

“Two years in the past we supplied to speak instantly with the Iranian authorities in a constructive technique to discover a new approach ahead. Mr Bagheri Kani might go some technique to handle the considerations of the worldwide neighborhood if he’s keen to simply accept this supply in a optimistic spirit, with out situations. I very a lot hope he does,” he mentioned.

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Seamus Dooley, assistant basic secretary of the Nationwide Union of Journalists, mentioned: “The non-public testimony of BBC Persian journalists is surprising to listen to.”

“It’s significantly shameful for the Iranian authorities to focus on journalists’ kids and aged family,” he added.