Iran International Journalist Moved To Safe House In Sweden Following Security Threats

Tuesday, 06/11/2024

Following threats against Iran International TV network staff, Mehran Abasian, a journalist for this network in Sweden, was placed under the protection of the Swedish security police and moved to a safe house due to security threats.

The Swedish police assessed the security threat as "serious and real”.

In explaining the threat, Abasian said, "Recently, a criminal group in Sweden has been tasked by the Islamic Republic with killing me and one of my colleagues."

This Iran International journalist had previously received numerous threatening messages on social media, especially during the coverage of Hamid Nouri's trial in Stockholm.

Last year, the Swedish Supreme Court rejected Nouri's appeal, and his life sentence for involvement in the execution of political prisoners in the 1980s in Iran was confirmed.

In the latest public threats against Iran International staff, Kazem Gharibabadi, secretary of the High Council for Human Rights and deputy head of the Iranian judiciary, called Iran International "terroristic" on the X social media platform, threatening its staff.

Gharibabadi's remarks came a week after five UN special rapporteurs condemned the cross-border violence and "threats of death and intimidation against Iran International staff”.

In their statement, these experts expressed deep concern over the increase in threats and intimidation against the staff of the media outlet, citing the "knife attack and acts of violence" against Pouria Zeraati, a journalist of Iran International.

Zeraati, one of Iran International's journalists, was attacked by three assailants with a knife in recent months and was hospitalised for several days.

Following Gharibabadi's remarks, an Iran International spokesperson stated, "Iran International TV is an example of independent journalism that provides accurate and unbiased information."

He added that the media outlet prides itself on upholding the highest principles of journalism and ensures that its reports remain fair and unbiased.

In 2022, Iran International was forced to temporarily move its TV broadcast from London to Washington due to security threats.

After a few months' hiatus, Iran International resumed its broadcasts from its new studio in London.

During one of the attempts to "carry out a terrorist operation against Iran International," an Austrian Chechen national named Mohammad-Hussein Dovtaev was identified and arrested by the Metropolitan Police in 2023.

The Central Criminal Court of England sentenced Dovtaev to three years and six months in prison for "terrorist activity against Iran International."

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