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BBC Persian Condemns "Unprecedented" Levels of Intimidation

Radio Farda, VOA and BBC Persian service logos.

Radio Farda, VOA and BBC Persian service logos.

A statement from Liliane Landor, Controller, Languages Services at the World Service, on intimidation of BBC Persian staff and their families.

The BBC is very concerned by the unprecedented levels of intimidation being suffered by families of BBC Persian Service staff living in Iran in the final days of the presidential election campaign.

In the past few days alone, 15 family members have been summoned for questioning by the Intelligence Ministry in Tehran and in other cities across the country. The harassment has included threats that relatives will lose jobs and pensions and be prevented from travelling abroad. For the first time the lives of BBC Persian TV staff living in the UK have also been threatened.

The BBC condemns this completely unacceptable harassment against our Persian TV service and other media organisations and independent journalists. Despite this intimidation and crude attempts to discredit our journalism, BBC audiences in Iran have almost doubled to 11.8m. This recognition by ordinary Iranians is a tribute to the professionalism and resilience of our journalists, and to the value of their work delivering unbiased news and programmes to Persian-speaking audiences.

BBC Press Office

For RFE/RL's statement on threats against family members of Radio Farda journalists, click here.