BBC employees arrested in Iran (UPDATE)

Iran Materials 19 September 2011 11:47 (UTC +04:00)

Number of detainees added (first version posted at 11:37)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 16 /Trend T.Konyayeva/

Six BBC employees, including a woman, working for the company's Persian Department have been arrested in Iran last night, IRINN reported.

They are accused of distributing photos, video and information negatively reflecting events occurred in Iran.

Several actors are among the arrested, the Javanonline Daily reported.

Earlier, Iran has blocked BBC's activities, accusing the corporation of provoking the protest movement after the 2009 presidential elections.

BBC does not have an office in Tehran.

However, BBC Persian TV director Sadegh Saba refuted Iran's claims. BBC has neither official nor unofficial employee in Iran, he said in an interview with Radio Farda.

Strong opposition unrest broke out in Tehran after the announcement of the results of presidential elections on June 12, 2009 when President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won 66 percent of the votes according to the Iranian CEC. One of the losing candidates - a reformer Mir Hossein Mousavi accused authorities of ballot rigging and called on people to hold protests.

During the clashes, according to official figures, 20 people were killed, but according to unofficial data - about 150 people. Some 1,032 demonstrators were arrested, most of which are subsequently released.