Iran accused of intimidating bbc persian staff 16 dating 20 year old canada
"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." Mr Thompson revealed that last week the sister of a BBC Persian member of staff was arrested and held in solitary confinement on unspecified charges at Evin Prison in the capital, Tehran.
"Although she has now been released on bail, her treatment was utterly deplorable and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms." Human Rights Watch said that at one point, a man claiming to be the relative's interrogator at Evin telephoned the staff member in London and offered to release her in return for information about the BBC.
A report by the semi-official Mehr news agency said the individuals had done reporting for the BBC and helped the corporation train Iranian journalists but did not name the people detained nor say how many had been arrested.
Thompson said in a blog post that last week the sister of a BBC Persian staff member was detained and held in solitary confinement in a Tehran prison. He said it was one of several occasions on which employees' relatives have been detained and "urged to get their relatives in London to either stop working for the BBC, or to 'cooperate' with Iranian intelligence officials." Thompson said staff members' email and Facebook accounts had been hacked, and they had faced false accusations of sexual assault, drug trafficking and financial crimes in official Iranian media outlets.
"Detaining a BBC reporter's relative seems to be part of a wider campaign to harass Iranian journalists by putting pressure on them and their families," said Sarah Leah Whitson, the group's Middle East director.
REUTERS Photo The head of the BBC on Friday accused Iran of intimidating staff members of its Persian service through slander, snooping and the arrest of their relatives.
New York-based Human Rights Watch said Iran's harassment was part of a wave of arrests against journalists and bloggers ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for next month."Detaining a BBC reporter's relative seems to be part of a wider campaign to harass Iranian journalists by putting pressure on them and their families," said Sarah Leah Whitson, the group's Middle East director."The recent wave of arrests, especially against relatives of journalists working abroad, is a reprehensible escalation in the current campaign to stifle freedom of information in Iran." The International Criminal Court on Sept.
2 ordered the tribunal's prosecutor for a second time to reconsider whether to press charges over a deadly Israeli raid on a flotilla carrying aid to Gaza in 2010.
Iran has repeatedly jammed the broadcasts of BBC's Persian-language service and other international broadcasters.