Gem TV: Iranian CEO Saeed Karimian along with his Kuwait business partner shot dead in Istanbul

BBC Persia correspondent Fardad Farahzad reported from the Turkish capital Istanbul on April 30, at eight o’clock local time, gunmen killed Saeed Karimian the founder and chairman of the Persian-language Gem TV Company.  The assassins machine-gunned Saeed Karimian’s Mercedes-Benz car only a few moments after he left his workplace in the Sarıyer neighborhood of Istanbul, with the assassins escaping from the scene.  Mr. Karimian with his Kuwaiti [businessman] partner after the attack were both transferred to Acibadem hospital in Istanbul. But both died a few hours later, due to severe injuries they sustained. Turkish police found the burnt-out vehicle which had been used by the assassins in the Kemerburgaz district of Istanbul. The search for the assailants is continuing. imian had dual citizenship of Iran and Saint Kitts and Nevis.  The media networks introduced the business partner who was killed with Karimian, a famous businessman, and business-owner from Kuwait named Muhammad Mutab al-Shallahi. Shallahi was reportedly meeting with Karimian to discuss advertising and commercial cooperation.

The Gem TV Group in the New Year [announced] that it would launch several TV networks broadcasting in Persian-language, Azari, Arabic, Turkish and English in various countries.

The Gem TV television network operates a total of 50 channels, most of which broadcast via the Yahsat satellite which has a cooperation agreement with the network

Batool Yousefi, a former employee of Gem TV, speaking in her interview with BBC Persian about Karimian,  said,  “Like any businessman, he was seeking and wanting to produce Gem TV’s work at the cheapest rate but with the best and highest-quality production levels.  So certainly, because of this issue, he had begun seeking solutions to reduce the budget as much as possible while increasing the quality, a characteristic that is attractive and which could attract Iranian viewers. Regarding his TV programs, as you could see, the themes of the programs were entertaining and amusing. As time passed, the entertainment shows led to various kinds of series and in the end, it also led him for this reason to turn to series-production.

Prior to moving to Turkey, Saeed Karimian began his Media activities in Malaysia, Dubai, and Britain.

Mr. Karimian had previously been tried in absentia by an Iranian regime ‘revolutionary court’, Branch Number 28, in Tehran. In February last year, he was sentenced to six years in prison for spreading propaganda against Iran. Some of his family members told BBC Farsi that Mr. Karimian had been threatened, but have not provided further details of the sources of the threats.