Iran, female journalists who covered Mahsa Amini’s death case sentenced

In Iran, the two Iranian journalists who had been in prison for months for having contributed to revealing to the world the case of Masha Amini, the young Kurdish girl who died after being stopped by the morality police because she was not wearing her uniform correctly, were sentenced to several years in prison. veil. Elaheh Mohammadi 36 years old, journalist for Ham Mihan and Niloufar Hamedi 31 years old, photographer for the Shargh newspaper were sentenced respectively to 12 and 13 years in prison for “cooperation with the hostile government” of the United States and for two other crimes. The two women have been detained since September 2022 in Tehran’s Evin prison – according to their family members, held in solitary confinement – and their trials began in May.

The two reporters will have to serve the longest sentence, seven years in the case of Hamedi and six years in that of Mohammadi. Furthermore, for two years they will not be able to work for the media, affiliate with political parties or use social media. The verdict can be appealed within 20 days.

Niloufar Hamedi was the first journalist to break the news of the young woman’s arrest and it was she who on 16 September 2022 published on her Twitter account the photo, which later became sadly famous, of Masha’s parents, embracing each other in a deserted corridor of a hospital in Tehran: a few minutes earlier the couple had been informed that their daughter had died.

Mohammadi followed the 22-year-old’s funeral, where the first veils began to be burned, a protest gesture that then sparked a movement that shook the country for months.

The Iranian judiciary on Tuesday also sentenced Mahsa Amini’s lawyer to one year in prison for “propaganda” against the state after he “spoke to foreign and local media about the case”, his defense said. Amini’s death sparked strong protests, which disappeared only after a repression that caused 500 deaths, the arrest of at least 22,000 people (dozens of journalists) and culminated in the execution of seven demonstrators, one of them in public.

The first anniversary of Amini’s death was commemorated on September 16 amid heavy repression and a massive deployment of security forces. In recent months the Iranian government has tried to reimpose the use of the veil, with the presence of patrols on the streets and the approval of a law that stiffens the penalties for those who do not cover their hair.

The 2023 Sakharov Prize awarded to Mahsa Amini and Iranian women

The 2023 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought was awarded to Jina Mahsa Amini and the Iranian protest movement “Women, Life and Freedom”. The president of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola announced the decision in the plenary session in Strasbourg. The Sakharov Prize is the European Chamber’s highest civil rights award.