Iran detains 6 documentary filmmakers, activists say
“If the president expects the international community to respect his right to speak in New York, then he should be forced to explain why filmmakers and media are subject to repression in Iran,” he added.
Citing sources, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said the six documentary filmmakers were detained over the weekend and taken to prison.
It said a pro-government news agency accused the filmmakers of working for BBC Persian and spying for the service.
The BBC said Monday that no one works for the Persian service inside Iran and noted that the arrests came one day after the service broadcast a documentary on Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.
The documentary was an in-house production and none of the detained filmmakers worked on it, the BBC reported.
In a news story posted on its website, the BBC quoted its language service chief, Liliane Landor, as saying the arrests are part of the “ongoing efforts by the Iranian government to put pressure on the BBC.”
Also Monday, the Iranian minister of culture and Islamic guidance told the semiofficial Iranian Students’ News Agency that the intelligence ministry is responsible for providing details on the filmmakers’ case.
“BBC Farsi was a major actor in the disturbances during and after the elections,” Seyed Mohammad Hosseini told the agency, referring to the 2009 presidential elections.
“It agitated and guided the people in the hopes to create problems for the country. This is why the representative office of the BBC was shut down in Tehran. Those who are working legally in Iran must now pay close attention and be very careful. We do not plan on supporting a network that engages in anti-Iran activities and works against the interests of the country,” he said.
- Iran detains 6 documentary filmmakers, activists say (cnn.com)
- BBC says 6 indie filmmakers detained in Iran (cbc.ca)
- Iran Arrests Filmmakers Accused of Working for BBC (nytimes.com)
- 6 Filmmakers Arrested In Iran, BBC Says (huffingtonpost.com)
- Iran arrests six filmmakers over TV coverage, BBC says (theglobeandmail.com)
- Iran arrests six filmmakers for links to BBC (msnbc.msn.com)