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Iran authorities detain former BBC Persian reporter

Published 04/02/2016

Bahman Daroshafaei was formerly a reporter for the BBC's Persian service
Bahman Daroshafaei was formerly a reporter for the BBC's Persian service

A former BBC Persian service reporter has been detained by Iranian authorities, an Iranian opposition website has reported.

The report by said judiciary officers detained Bahman Daroshafaei on Wednesday morning in his residence, but did not state a reason.

Mr Daroshafaei, who left the BBC Persian service in London about two years ago, was working as translator of political books and novels. Works he had translated include Political Philosophy by David Miller and the memoir Down And Out In Paris And London by George Orwell.

The detention took place as Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived in London on Thursday to participate in a meeting of international donors to help millions of Syrians displaced by that country's civil war.

Mr Daroshafei's detention is part of an ongoing crackdown on journalists and activists in Iran.

Earlier this week the lawyer for two journalists, Isa Saharkhiz and Ehsun Mazandarani, who were detained in November, said authorities have accused them of acting against national security. Their detention followed the arrest of other cultural figures, including two poets and a filmmaker.

The detentions and arrests come ahead of highly anticipated late-February elections for both the parliament and the all-cleric Assembly of Experts, the body that chooses Iran's supreme leaders. The elections are expected to be a showdown between hard-liners and moderates allied with President Hassan Rouhani.

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