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Iran: BBC Persian Journalists

Volume 682: debated on Tuesday 13 October 2020

What recent representations he has made to the Iranian authorities on the intimidation of BBC Persian journalists in that country. (907440)

The attacks against BBC Persian employees and their families, and threats to an entirely legitimate media organisation, are unacceptable. We raise this harassment regularly with the Iranian Government, as well as at the Human Rights Council. We will continue to defend BBC Persian’s editorial independence. We most recently raised our concerns about media freedom in Iran in an E3 Foreign Ministers’ letter to Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif on 22 September.

I thank the Minister for that reply and for sharing the concerns about this serious issue. Will he give us some information on what responses the Foreign Office has received from the Iranian authorities to such representations? The BBC journalists themselves get very little feedback on this issue.

Sadly, the Iranian authorities have yet to provide any kind of justification for their actions that stand up to scrutiny. Their behaviour is indefensible, and we are confident that our Iranian contacts, including Foreign Minister Zarif, fully understand our concerns and our condemnation of such harassment.