BBC-BBG Joint Protest of Threats to the Independent Media in Iran

The U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG ) and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) take the opportunity of this UN General Assembly to protest an escalating campaign by the Iranian government to silence independent media in Iran.

As recently as last weekend, Iranian authorities arrested several documentary makers on vague and unfounded accusations of collaborating with BBC Persian. The arrests coincided with the broadcast of a documentary film about Iran’s supreme leader on BBC Persian television.

We deplore such arbitrary practices that have included satellite jamming; continuous Internet disruption; intimidation of journalists, government critics and online activists; and aggressive hacking practices. These tactics have been aimed at BBC Persian, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Radio Farda and the Voice of America’s Persian News Network.

We object to accusations of secrecy and conspiracy when it is the right and responsibility of independent media to promote the free flow of information and uncensored exchange of ideas.

The Iranian government’s efforts to thwart independent media are in flagrant violation of international standards and norms to which Iran is a signatory and which its voluntary participation in this UN session would seem to endorse.

Such practices should be condemned during this UN General Assembly.