Iran. Journalists’ Defense Committee: journalists exposed Mahsa Amini’s case accused of espionage, threatened with death
Nilufar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi, Iranian journalists who dealt with the Mahsa Amini case, have been arrested and are being accused of espionage by the authorities, reports the independent American organization, the Journalists Defense Committee (CPJ). If journalists are formally accused of espionage and convicted, they face the death penalty.
From September 16 Iran is overwhelmed protests that broke out after the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, a Kurdish woman. On September 13, the woman was arrested by the moral police due to the headgear which, according to the officers, did not cover her hair sufficiently. Three days after her detention, the woman died under unclear circumstances. Her family claims that officers beat her on the head with a truncheon and hit one of their vehicles with it. Police denied this version of the events, arguing that the woman had suffered “sudden heart failure”.
Reuters and the independent American organization, the Journalists’ Defense Committee (CPJ), report on the fate of Iranian journalists Nilufar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi who dealt with the case.
Nilufar Hamedi photographed Amini’s parents’ parents arriving at a hospital in Tehran, where their daughter was in a coma. As Reuters continues, the photo Hamedi tweeted was “the first signal to the world” about Amini.
Hamedi, who worked for the daily “Szargh”, also went to the hospital where Amini was unconscious and, according to her family, was detained on September 20. Mohammadi from the daily “Ham Mihan” described the funeral of a young woman in her hometown of Saghghez in Iranian Kurdistan; she was detained on September 29.
Since the beginning of the demonstrations that broke out after the death of 22-year-old Amini, 51 journalists have been arrested in Iran. So far, only 14 have been released, reported the Journalists’ Defense Committee.
Accused of espionage
Hamedi and Mohammadi were accused last week by Iranian authorities of being foreign-trained spies and for their journalistic work was just “cover”. Their articles allowed “Western media to fabricate information” about Amini and the demonstrations in Iran, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Information and the Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The CPJ warns that if journalists are formally accused of espionage and convicted, they face the death penalty.
On Sunday, 300 Iranian journalists and photojournalists signed an open letter criticizing the authorities for detaining journalists and “depriving them of their rights”, including “access to their lawyers.” Iman Shamsai, the media director of the Iranian Ministry of Culture, told Iran’s Isna agency that “no one in Tehran has been arrested for media activities.”
Main photo source: GEORGE VITSARAS / PAP / EPA
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