The BBC on Monday urged the United Nations to intervene and stop Iran from “harassing its Persian service” employees in London and their families in Iran. The British Broadcasting Company accused Tehran of intimidating its employees by arresting their relatives, imposing travel bans and threatening them since 2009.

The broadcaster will address a United Nations Human Rights Council session in Geneva this week. “It is not just about the BBC – we are not the only media organisation to have been harassed or forced to compromise when dealing with Iran,” The Telegraph quoted BBC Director General Tony Hall as saying. “We are now asking the community of nations at the UN to support the BBC and uphold the right to freedom of expression.”

The broadcaster accused the Iranian government of threatening employees at BBC’s Persian service since the controversial presidential election in Iran in 2009, which many Iranians alleged was rigged. Tehran had alleged that foreign governments were responsible for the protests that broke out after that election.