A former female journalist at Iran’s Press TV has left the country after accusing her boss of persistent sexual harassment.
Sheena Shirani announced her resignation last week from the news channel in a Facebook post, according to Daily Mail.
“I can no longer work for an [organization] I don't believe in,” the news anchor wrote.
She posted two pictures showing her wearing a headscarf, and noted, “Since this wasn't good enough, and neither was this.”
Her main allegations were made against news director Hamid Reza Emadi.
She uploaded an audio recording online in which Emadi asked her for sex.
“I didn’t even touch you last night. You mean touching your tummy over your clothes is considered touching?” Emadi says in the recording.
After Shirani refuses his proposition, Emadi pleads with her for “humanitarian help.”
“I’m not asking you to kill someone. You can have sex with me as a friend,” he adds.
Emadi denied the authenticity of the recording, but an anonymous Press TV employee backed up Shirani’s claim that it was genuine.
Emadi subsequently contacted Shirani and asked her to take the recording down.
“This will put me under immense pressure,” he added. “Because I always stood by you. Please reconsider this. They have already started attacking me. You are making people who hate my guts very happy by doing this.”
“You couldn't have expected me to deal with being sexually harassed on a daily basis forever. I lived through hell. I'm not going to live that life anymore,” she said.
In posts and interviews, Shirani explained that because she was a divorced single mom, her colleagues targeted her for criticism and threats. She was reported to her manager every time she was a few minutes late or committed a minor error.
A similar incident occurred last October when Iranian actress Sadaf Taherian posted images of herself online without a hijab in what she said was a protest against a law compelling women to wear the headscarf in public.
Forced to flee the country, she described in interviews how she was sexually harassed by male colleagues at work.
“They would put five or six contracts in front of me with only one condition: One month – to be with them,” she said, according to the Mail (2).