Iran: BBC Persian Service

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 20th April 2021.

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Photo of Fiona Bruce Fiona Bruce Conservative, Congleton

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his Iranian counterpart on the reported targeting and harassment of BBC Persian staff in that country.

Photo of Fiona Bruce Fiona Bruce Conservative, Congleton

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his Iranian counterpart on the reported harassment of families of BBC Persian staff.

Photo of Fiona Bruce Fiona Bruce Conservative, Congleton

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Iranian counterpart on the asset freeze affecting BBC Persian staff based in London.

Photo of James Cleverly James Cleverly Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

We condemn the persecution of current and former BBC Persian employees and their family members, and the many individuals who have had their assets frozen or are banned from leaving Iran. We continue to regularly raise these issues directly with the Iranian government, as well as in multilateral fora, including the Human Rights Council.

At the UN Third Committee in October 2020, we urged Iran to cease their harassment of journalists and media organisations; and in March 2021, at the Human Rights Council, we made clear to Iran that their repeated violations of human rights are unacceptable.

The British Government is committed to the promotion of media freedom which is vital to functioning societies and that journalists must be able to investigate and report as they see fit. We regularly raise human rights with the Iranian authorities at all levels and we continue to take action with the international community to press Iran to improve its poor record on all human rights issues, including restrictions on media freedom.

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