Iran sentences two women journalists to prison

Public TV English
Public TV English
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TEHRAN: Two Iranian women journalists have been given preliminary prison sentences for national security charges on cases related to the Mahsa Amini protests, reported Al Jazeera.

After nationwide demonstrations against the killing of 22-year-old Amini in police custody erupted in September 2022, the journalists Niloofar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi were taken into custody.

According to the Iranian judiciary’s official news website, Hamedi and Mohammadi were each sentenced to a total of 13 years and 12 years in jail, respectively, however, they will not be required to serve the entire terms of their sentences, according to Al Jazeera.

For “collusion to commit crimes against the country’s security” they were each sentenced to five years in prison, and for “propaganda against the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran” they were each given a one-year sentence.

Hamedi was also given a two-year ban on joining political organisations, participating in social media, and working in the media.

“In the cases of both aforementioned individuals, there is proven evidence of links with some entities and individuals linked with the US government, which was done knowingly and in following anti-security policies,” the Iranian judiciary website said, according to Al Jazeera.

According to the website, the penalties might be lessened. The preliminary sentences are subject to appeal in a Tehran court within 20 days.

The two women will only have to serve their longest term, which is six years for Mohammadi and seven years for Hamedi if the convictions are upheld, reported Al Jazeera.

When Amini passed away in a hospital in Tehran, Hamedi posted a picture of her parents crying and holding each other on social media. Meanwhile, Mohammadi had gone to Amini’s hometown of Saqqez to cover her funeral.

According to Al Jazeera, the journalists’ families, as well as the newspapers that employed them, have refuted the accusations, claiming that they were simply doing their jobs.

Amini’s death sparked political protests against the Iranian government turning into a larger social movement with demonstrators protesting the regime’s treatment of women among other issues as well.

Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman, died last September after being detained by the regime’s infamous morality police and taken to a “re-education centre,” allegedly for failing to wear her headscarf properly.

According to an Iranian journalist, Amini’s father, Amjad, was regularly summoned by the security officers in recent months following her daughter’s death. “Today he was detained for a few hours,” CNN reported, citing the journalist.

This year, when Amini’s family visited her grave in the western Kurdish city of Saqqez on the eve of the one-year anniversary of her death, CNN reported citing IranWire. However, following that day, Amjad was detained by the authorities for three to four hours with his son.

Moreover, Amjad’s son was warned that he would be banished to a remote village if he encouraged people to attend Amini’s death anniversary ceremonies, the report claimed.

However, Iranian authorities denied reports of Amjad’s detention.

IRNA, Iran’s local media outlet, described the reports as “false” in a Telegram post, according to CNN. Earlier, on Tuesday, Amini’s uncle, Sada Aeli, was apprehended by the Iranian authorities, according to a member of her family and reports from the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).

Amini’s death triggered the largest protests Iran had witnessed in years, turning into a larger social movement with demonstrators protesting the regime’s treatment of women among other issues as well. (ANI)

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