Iranian documentary makers were arrested because of a complaint from Iran’s national broadcaster, Seda va Sima, says a relative of one of the detainees.
Kamnoush Shahabi, the sister of detained Iranian filmmaker Katayoon Shahbi, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran: “It appears that she has been arrested for the sale of one or two films to the BBC.”
In the past month, the Islamic Republic has detained six of its filmmakers on charges of “collaborating with Persian BBC.”
Kamnoush Shahabi, who lives in Canada, reported yesterday: “My sister has been in custody for 20 days, but no one has been allowed to visit her, not even her lawyer.”
The sister of the detained filmmaker adds that Shahabi has been allowed three phone calls home and has indicated that she is being held in solitary confinement.
On Saturday September 17, Iranian security forces raided the homes of six Iranian documentary makers and arrested them.
Iran’s Minister of Intelligence has indicated that this is only the beginning of a crackdown on “collaborators with the BBC in Iran.”
The minister maintained that British intelligence has begun a “new phase of destructive anti-Iranian activities under the guise of the BBC,” and Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence is bent on “preventing anyone else from falling into their trap.”
BBC has denied any direct connection with anyone in Iran and emphasized that it has no employees and collaborators in the country.
Since then, however, Iranian film authorities have indicated that it is illegal for Iranian filmmakers to sell a film to the BBC.