Two of the recently arrested Iranian documentary makers charged with collaborating with Persian BBC were released yesterday after 22 days in jail.
The Iranian Documentary Makers Association announced that Nasser Safarrian and Mohsen Shahnazdar were released on October 9, giving no further details.
The two filmmakers were arrested together with Mojtaba MirTahmasb, Katayoon Shahbi, Hadi Afarideh and Shahnam Bazdar on September 17.
Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence announced that the detainees were “receiving large sums of money through underground and illegal channels used by intelligence services in order to carry out the anti-national missions organized by the British intelligence service’s section for psychological warfare known as the BBC.”
Iran’s Intelligence Minister announced that these arrests were the tip of the iceberg, indicating that more people are to be arrested for “collaboration” with Persian BBC.
The BBC, on the other hand, has condemned the arrests and maintains that it has no collaborators or employees in Iran.
Iran’s House of Cinema, the professional organization representing Iranian filmmakers, has called on the authorities to make sure the rights of the detained filmmakers are observed. The group also recently announced that the sale of films to the BBC by Iranian filmmakers is now considered illegal by the Iranian government.