United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and
Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression David Kaye
criticized Iran's repressive crackdown on the media in his report on repression
and curtailing freedom of expression, especially with its harassment, imprisonment, torture and killing of journalists.
"Iran continues to crack down on journalists and the media, including harassment, arbitrary detention, travel bans, and surveillance of intelligence agents of individuals and their families," Kaye said Tuesday in his report to the UN.
The report points to the persecution of Iranian journalists in the BBC Persian network as an example of the Iranian regime's crackdown on journalists in Iran and abroad.
The International Organization for Human Rights and Freedom of Expression has ranked Iran as one of the top five prisons in the world. The annual report of Reporters Without Borders on freedom of the press and protection of journalists' rights around the world stated that Iran is one of the top five countries with the highest number of imprisoned journalists in the world.
In its 2017 report, Human Rights Watch said that Iranian security and intelligence forces had summoned, arrested and tortured dozens of journalists, prominent union figures, press organization members and social media activists.
The Iranian regime has not only suppressed and restricted freedom of the press in Iran but has also placed restrictions on the families of people working for the BBC, sometimes preventing them from traveling abroad and practicing their normal activities.
The US State Department expressed concern about the repression of journalists and their families inside and outside Iran, especially those of the BBC. It demanded that the authorities in Tehran respect the provisions of international law regarding civil and political rights guaranteeing freedom of expression for all, including journalists.
The State Department expressed its concern about “the serious circumstances facing the press in Iran” after the UN’s special rapporteur continued to receive reports of arbitrary arrests, detentions and harassment of journalists, media workers and their families.
Human rights organization’s reported last year that about 200 correspondents and journalists were summoned and interrogated by the security services and 32 were sentenced to long prison sentences of up to 16 years during the first term of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.