The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), its UK affiliate the NUJ, the BBC and international legal experts from Doughty Street Chambers have urged the UN Human Rights Council to help end the persecution of BBC Persian journalists by Iran.
Women journalists have been predominantly targeted and prone to repetitive attempts of online attacks, highlighted in the following background brief.
This is a short brief prepared in relation to the targeting by Iran of BBC Persian staff and their families,focusing on the online targeting of women journalists working with BBC Persian. At this upcoming 38th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC38) a key issue is violence against women, including online and in digital spaces. Online abuse of and threats to female journalists are global phenomena: surveys show that female journalists and television news presenters receive about three times as much abuse as their male counterparts, more than a quarter of instances of intimidation against female journalists takes place online and that female journalists covering technology are subjected to heightened levels of abuse. The Iranian authorities’ online targeting of female journalists is a particularly extreme and concerning example of this wider trend.
As we explain in this briefing, BBC Persian Staff have been under systematic attacks online and in different domestic media outlets after 2009, and many of those targeted in this way have been female journalists. The attacks are part of a range of measures intended to silence and intimidate the journalists and deter them from their work. These measures constitute a clear attack on the journalists’ right to freedom of expression. They also raise serious concerns regarding women’s rights to be free from gender-based violence and harassment, and the rights of the audience – in Iran and worldwide – to access a pluralistic media, which includes women’s voices.
To read the full brief, click here.