The BBC’s director general has accused Iran of “unprecedented collective punishment” as the corporation appealed to the UN over crackdowns on Iranian employees of its London-based Persian service.
Iranian authorities have imposed an asset freeze on at least 152 BBC Persian journalists and former contributors, preventing them from conducting financial transactions or selling properties in their homeland because of their affiliation with the British broadcaster.
It has emerged that a criminal investigation has also been launched in Iran, accusing those linked with BBC Persian of “conspiracy against national security”. The corporation said it was the latest “sustained campaign of harassment and persecution … designed to pressure journalists against continuing their work for the BBC”.
Acting on behalf of its London-based Persian service staff, the BBC has filed an urgent complaint with David Kaye, the UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression. It has also contacted Asma Jahangir, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, who was expected to issue a statement on Wednesday.