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BBC appeals to UN over Iran harassing Persian staff

IANS  |  London 

The on Monday said it will make an unprecedented appeal to the UN to stop from harassing its Persian service staff in and their families in

The news corporation has said that has stepped up a campaign of intimidation, including threats, arrests of relatives and travel bans.

began targeting the BBC's Persian service after the disputed 2009 presidential election, when accused foreign powers of interference.

The in at the time, Jon Leyne, was expelled along with other journalists working for the international

The appeal will be made at a meeting of the

The call for the appeal comes after the latest move by Iran to escalate its campaign against Persian service journalists.

It has accused 152 current and former staff and contributors of "conspiracy against national security" and initiated criminal investigations.

Iran has also slapped an asset freeze on many of the journalists.

More than 20 Persian service journalists or family members have received death threats.

"The BBC is taking the unprecedented step of appealing to the because our own attempts to persuade the Iranian authorities to end their harassment have been completely ignored," said BBC

An estimated 18 million Iranians, a quarter of the population of Iran, regularly use the BBC's Persian service online, on radio or on Some 12 million people regularly watch its TV programmes, which include news, current affairs and entertainment.

"Iranians are turning to BBC Persian in huge numbers because they cannot get reliable and impartial news and analysis from the Iranian which is heavily censored," said Rozita Lotfi, of BBC Persian.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 12 2018. 13:42 IST