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Journalism is not a Crime

Iranian Journalist Sentenced Without Trial; Authorities Urged To End “Judicial Travesties”

February 1, 2023
1 min read
Nazila Maroufian was arrested in October 30 after interviewing the father of Mahsa Amini, whose death in the custody of morality police in September sparked an ongoing nationwide wave of protests.
Nazila Maroufian was arrested in October 30 after interviewing the father of Mahsa Amini, whose death in the custody of morality police in September sparked an ongoing nationwide wave of protests.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has condemned the two-year suspended prison sentence imposed without any trial on an Iranian journalist and called for an end to such “travesties” of justice.

Nazila Maroufian, a reporter with Didban Iran and Rouydad24 websites, was arrested on October 30 after interviewing the father of Mahsa Amini, whose death in the custody of morality police in September sparked an ongoing nationwide wave of protests.

A Revolutionary Court sentenced Maroufian on January 28 on charges of anti-government propaganda and spreading false news.

“I have been sentenced to two years in prison, a fine of 15 million tomans (about $350) and a five-year ban on leaving the country,” she tweeted, adding that the court reached its decision without holding a hearing and in the absence of any defense lawyer.

Jonathan Dagher, the head of RSF’s Middle East desk, said in a statement on January 31 that “the imposition of this arbitrary sentence on a journalist who tried to shed light on the circumstances of Mahsa Amini’s death is extremely distressing.”

“We call for an immediate end to these judicial travesties, which aim to gag journalists, and we call for the immediate release of the 38 Iranian journalists who are currently imprisoned,” he added.

Other women journalists who investigated Amini’s death are awaiting trial.

Niloufar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi, who were among the first journalists to write about Mahsa’s hospitalization after she fell into a coma, have been incarcerated for nearly five months and are facing charges that carry the death penalty.

The Iranian security forces have cracked down hard on the anti-government demonstrations, killing more than 520 people and detaining over 18,000, activists say. The judiciary has handed down stiff sentences, including the death penalty, to protesters.

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