Iran sentences journalists who reported Amini death to prison

Iran on Sunday handed jail sentences of several years to two journalists who covered the arrest of Kurdish woman Zhina (Mahsa) Amini, which sparked countrywide protests last year, the judiciary announced. 

Amini, 22, died in police custody on September 16, 2022 after being arrested for allegedly wearing a lax hijab. Her death sparked Iran’s largest protest movement in the past four decades, initially calling for greater freedoms for women before turning into a full-scale antigovernment revolution. Hundreds of people were killed and thousands arrested as authorities initiated a brutal crackdown on dissent.

Journalists Niloufar Hamedi of Shargh Daily and Elaheh Mohammadi of Sazandegi daily paper were "charged with collaborating with the American government,” conspiring to commit crimes against Iran’s national security, and propaganda against the Islamic republic, the judiciary’s Mizan Online said. 

Hamedi, 31, was handed a seven-year jail sentence for collaborating with the US while Mohammadi, 36, was given a six-year term, Mizan said. 

Both were also given five-year sentences for conspiring to commit crimes and propaganda against Iran, it added. The sentences will be served concurrently.

"Sentences issued can be appealed in the Tehran Court of Appeals in person within 20 days,” Mizan said.

In May, the US rejected any ties to Hamedi and Mohammadi as "obviously not true,” blasting Iran for repeated human rights violations and calling on the Islamic republic to end arbitrary detentions and sham trials. 

They have both been held in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison since September of last year. 

According to the 2023 World Press Freedom Index issued by the Paris-based Reporters without Borders, a non-profit organization aiming to safeguard freedom of information, Iran is listed as 177 out of 180 in the world, making it one of the worst countries in the world for press freedom, followed only by Vietnam, China and North Korea.

source\ Rudaw


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