Iranian made Press TV 'forced confession'

By Jessica Elgot, June 10, 2010
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Maziar Bahari was arrested after he filmed the protests that followed the presidential election.

Maziar Bahari was arrested after he filmed the protests that followed the presidential election.

A journalist who was imprisoned in Iran has accused Press TV of colluding with his captors, in a programme for Channel 4.

Newsweek journalist Maziar Bahari spent 118 days in a Tehran jail after being arrested for covering the Iran election protests.

Ofcom is to investigate multiple breaches of its broadcasting code over Press TV’s screening of an interview with Mr Bahari, in which he said he was under “extreme duress”.

Mr Bahari said he was speaking from a script, with his interrogator concealed behind a curtain. Press TV did not reveal any of the circumstances.

Press TV is funded by the Iranian government, and broadcasts in English to nearly 10 million homes in the UK. Its presenters include George Galloway, Lauren Booth and Yvonne Ridley.

Mr Bahari was arrested after he filmed the protests that followed the presidential election. His footage of Iranian soldiers firing live rounds at protestors was shown around the world. In prison he was told to make a false confession on TV or face excution.

He told Channel 4: “Press TV reporter could see I was ordered to answer questions in a certain way – I made sure to put my blindfold on my knee so they could see it.”

Mr Bahari was released due to international pressure but has been sentenced, in his absence, to 13 and a half years in prison and 74 lashes.

Last updated: 12:47pm, December 1 2011