BBC Accuses Iran Of Intimidating Its Staff

Published February 3, 2012 2:36PM (EST)

LONDON (AP) — The BBC is accusing Iran of intimidating staff of its Persian service through slander, snooping and the arrest of their relatives.

BBC director-general Mark Thompson on Friday accused Iranian authorities of "a campaign of bullying and harassment."

Thompson said in a blog post that last week the sister of a BBC Persian staff member was detained and held in solitary confinement in Tehran — one of several occasions on which employees' relatives have been detained. She has since been released.

He said staff email and Facebook accounts had been hacked, and they had faced false accusations of sexual assault, drug trafficking and financial crimes.

Diplomatic relations between Britain and Iran have deteriorated as tensions mount over Tehran's disputed nuclear program.

By Salon Staff

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