Iran’s detention of BBC Persian reporter part of trend as elections approach

Special to

Iran is continuing its crackdown on journalists and activists ahead of key elections later this month.

Bahman Daroshafaei
Bahman Daroshafaei

According to Iranian opposition website, judiciary officers on Feb. 3 detained Bahman Daroshafaei, formerly a reporter for the BBC Persian service in London. Officials in Teheran gave no reason for Daroshafaei’s arrest, the website reported.

Iran recently accused two journalists, Isa Saharkhiz and Ehsun Mazandarani, who were detained in November, of acting against national security. Their detention followed the arrest of other cultural figures, including two poets and a filmmaker.

The crackdown on journalists and activists comes as Iran is set to hold elections later this month for both the parliament and the all-cleric Assembly of Experts, the body that chooses Iran’s supreme leader.

The report said that Daroshafaei, who left the BBC two years ago, was working as translator of political books and novels, including “Political Philosophy” by David Miller and the memoir “Down and Out in Paris and London” by George Orwell.