Saeed Karimian, the owner of a popular Dubai-based, Persian-language satellite channel, was gunned down in Istanbul on April 29. Karimian’s GEM TV, which airs dubbed Western programs into the homes of Iranians, has long been a target of criticism of conservative Iranian officials. In March 2017, Iran’s judiciary sentenced Karimian in absentia to six years in prison for propaganda against the state.
Two masked men in a jeep in an upscale Istanbul neighborhood confronted Karimian and his Kuwaiti business partner, Mohammad Shallahi, on the road. Karimian was shot 27 times and died on the scene. Shallahi was shot three times and died later at the hospital. The attackers later burned the jeep.