News & Current Affairs

Journalists In Iran Who Covered the Death Of Mahsa Amini Face Prosecution

By Azeezat Okunlola | Jun 7, 2023
In an Iranian court this week, two reporters were put on trial for their roles in breaking the story of Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish-Iranian woman who was killed after being detained by Iran's morality police last year.
Eight months after their arrest, Niloufar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi remain in an Iranian prison on allegations that might lead to the death penalty, including "conspiracy and rebellion against national security" and "anti-state propaganda," as documented by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
In a revolutionary court presided over by renowned judge Abolghasem Salavati, the two ladies were tried on Monday and Tuesday, according to the Iranian pro-reform newspaper SharghDaily.
The death of Amini, a young woman of 22, sparked widespread protests across Iran last fall, and the trial follows on the heels of these demonstrations.
The months-long protest was forcefully put down by the government after it became one of the greatest domestic threats to the governing religious system in Iran in over a decade.
According to RSF, Hamedi was apprehended after reporting from the hospital about Amini's deteriorating health and coma while she was in police custody.
It has been reported by both SharghDaily and the United Nations that Hamedi has been imprisoned in solitary confinement at Iran's notorious Evin Prison since September, during which time she has been denied access to attorneys.
Her spouse, Mohammad Hossein Ajorloo, tweeted that Hamedi refuted all charges and emphasised her legal journalistic responsibilities throughout her trial on Tuesday.
According to RSF and the UN, Mohammadi was arrested in September after covering Amini's burial. He was also on trial but in a different court.
It took seven months after the arrests were made before the families of the journalists were told of the charges.
The renowned 2023 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize was shared by incarcerated journalists Bahman Hamedi, Mohammadi, and Narges Mohammadi.
According to a UN release, jury chair Zainab Salbi remarked, "We are committed to honouring the brave work of Iranian female journalists." She continued, "They paid a hefty price for their commitment to report on and convey the truth."
Several demonstrators in recent years have been sentenced to death by the Iranian government as part of their crackdown on dissent. The regime's executions have been called "extreme" by its detractors.


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