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CEO Of Persian-Language Gem TV Killed In Istanbul

Saeed Karimian founded the Gem TV group in London in 2006.

The founder and chairman of the Persian-language Gem TV company has been shot dead in Istanbul, media reports say.

Saeed Karimian, a British citizen of Iranian origin, was gunned down along with his Kuwaiti business partner in Istanbul's Maslak neighborhood late on April 29, the Hurriyet newspaper reported.

The Dogan news agency said that the two men were shot dead while driving in the Maslak area by individuals in another vehicle who blocked their way, got out, and gunned them down.

According to Dogan, the assailants escaped in their vehicle, which was then found burned-out in the Istanbul district of Kemerburgaz.

Turkish police are still looking for them, the news agency reported.

GEM TV confirmed that Karimian had died, but without making clear the circumstances of his death.

Karimian had been sentenced in absentia by an Iranian court to six years in prison for spreading propaganda against Iran.

The Gem Group was established in London in 2006, but its headquarters later relocated to Dubai.

The group’s website claims that it has 17 Persian-language channels and one channel apiece broadcasting in Kurdish, Azeri, and Arabic.

Gem TV dubs foreign TV programs, such as U.S. game shows and Turkish soap operas.

Based on reporting by AFP, BBC and