Summary: 26 September 2011, Brussels - The spokesperson of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the Commission Catherine Ashton issued the following statement today on the arrest of 6 independent film-makers in Iran:
"The High Representative condemns the recent arrest in Iran of six documentary film-makers, who are accused of working for the BBC Persian service, and calls for their immediate release. She is equally concerned at reports of harassment of several other people alleged to have links with the BBC Persian service.
This disturbing trend of arresting journalists, film-makers and artists in Iran on political grounds suggests that the Iranian authorities are determined to crack down on independent thought.
The High Representative calls on the Iranian authorities to respect the right to freedom of expression in line with their international human rights obligations and to stop the systematic prosecution and intimidation of journalists and artists."