Mehran Abbasian, Iran International TV journalist

Swedish Officials Raise Alarm Over Threats to Iran International Reporter

Wednesday, 06/12/2024

The Swedish Journalists' Association has voiced concern over the safety of Mehran Abbasian, a journalist with Iran International TV, highlighting the threats against him as a blatant attempt to suppress journalistic freedom.

"Iran's dictatorship should not control journalism in Sweden," stated the head of the association, emphasizing the risks posed to freedom of the press.

In response to the growing threats, Swedish parliament members Alireza Akhondi and Azadeh Rojhan, both of Iranian descent, have addressed the Swedish Minister of Culture and the Minister of Foreign Affairs in written pleas for enhanced protection for journalists.

Abbasian, who has reported critically on the Iranian government, has been relocated to a secure facility following credible threats to his life.

The situation escalated amid Swedish police reports describing the threats as "serious and real" and follows disturbing disclosures that Iran may be engaging local Swedish gangs to execute its vendettas abroad.

This includes planned attacks on Jewish and Israeli targets. Confirming the reports, the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, indicated that these gangs were part of a broader, Tehran-coordinated scheme targeting Israeli embassies across Europe.

The persistence of threats against Iran International's staff traces back to 2022, with the London Metropolitan Police uncovering several plots against the channel's journalists. The severity of the threats peaked last year when UK intelligence service MI5 announced it could no longer ensure the safety of the channel's staff, prompting a temporary relocation of some team members to the United States.

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