Local news outlets are reporting that an Iranian court has given three to seven years in prison to two female journalists for various offenses, including “collaborating” with the government of the United States. Both had been in custody for over a year after being arrested in September 2022 for reporting on the death of Mahsa Amini while she was in police custody.
This is a preliminary sentencing; an appeal must be filed within 20 days.
On Sunday, the judicial news website Mizan reported that Niloufar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi, the reporters who first said that Amini had been killed for wearing her headscarf too loosely, had been given seven and six years in jail, respectively.
They were accused of “collaborating with the hostile American administration,” “colluding against national security,” and “propaganda against the system,” as stated by Mezan, who testified before the Tehran Revolutionary Court.
Mohammadi was a writer for the conservative Ham-Mihan, whereas Hamedi was at the helm of the progressive Shargh. They were arrested in September of 2022.
In May, the United Nations bestowed upon them its highest honor for journalistic freedom- an honor “for their dedication to honesty and responsibility.”
Protests continued for months after Amini’s death in dozens of locations across Iran. These protests were one of the most severe threats to the Islamic Republic since the 2009 Green Movement rallies, bringing millions of people onto the streets.
In the days following Amini’s killing, the reporting of Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi was crucial in spreading the word about the ensuing fury. About a hundred journalists were arrested during the protests, but this still occurred.
The savage onslaught by security forces in the months after Amini’s death has been widely condemned, and their arrests have sparked an international outcry.
At least 529 people, according to human rights activists in Iran, have been slain in the protests since they began. Over 19,700 more people have been imprisoned as part of the harsh crackdown by authorities to quell the dissent. Iran has admitted that thousands of individuals have been detained, but the country has refused to release any estimates of total casualties for months.