Home World Iranian journailsts imprisoned for covering Mahsa Amini’s death released on bail

Iranian journailsts imprisoned for covering Mahsa Amini’s death released on bail

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Iranian journailsts imprisoned for covering Mahsa Amini’s death released on bail

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Journalists were freed on bail from Tehran’s Evin prison, each required to pay 100 billion rials ($192,307)

Niloufar Hamedi, 31 (L) and Elaheh Mohammadi, 36—AFP/File

Iranian authorities have released two journalists, Niloufar Hamedi, 31, and Elaheh Mohammadi, 36, who had been imprisoned for over a year for covering the death of Mahsa Amini. 

The journalists were freed on bail from Tehran’s Evin prison, each required to pay 100 billion rials ($192,307), as reported by the reformist Shargh newspaper and corroborated by other Iranian media outlets.

Currently appealing their sentences of several years in prison, the journalists will remain out of jail until the appeals court reaches a decision. Additionally, they are subjected to a travel ban.

Both journalists, a photographer for Shargh newspaper and a reporter for Ham Mihan newspaper respectively, had been detained following the death of Mahsa Amini in September 2022. 

This picture taken and released by the Sharq News Online on January 14, 2024, shows Iranian journalists Niloufar Hamedi (R) and Elaheh Mohammadi flashing the sign of victory after they were released from Evin prison on bail in Tehran. —AFP
This picture taken and released by the Sharq News Online on January 14, 2024, shows Iranian journalists Niloufar Hamedi (R) and Elaheh Mohammadi flashing the sign of victory after they were released from Evin prison on bail in Tehran. —AFP

Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd, was arrested for allegedly violating  the country’s dress rules for women and died in custody due to the morality policy.

Niloufar Hamedi was arrested less than a week after Amini’s death when she went to the hospital where Amini was being treated and posted a photo of the grieving family on social media. Elaheh Mohammadi was detained after covering Amini’s funeral in Saqez, which turned into a demonstration.

In October, Mizan Online, the judiciary’s website, stated that the journalists were found guilty of collaborating with the United States, conspiring against state security, and propaganda against the Islamic republic. 

Mohammadi received a six-year prison term, while Hamedi was handed a seven-year term for the same offences. Additionally, both were sentenced to five years each for conspiracy charges and one each for propaganda, to be served concurrently.

The release of the journalists comes amidst a broader crackdown on media following the nationwide protests triggered by Mahsa Amini’s death. 

Reports suggest that over 90 journalists have been questioned or taken into custody since the protests erupted, leading to a significant number of casualties and arrests. The authorities have accused the demonstrators of participating in “riots” allegedly orchestrated by Western influences.

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