Iranian authorities have sentenced journalist Masoud Kurdpour to 17 months in prison in an online court hearing, and detained another reporter, Elnaz Mohammadi, for unknown reasons.
Dozens of journalists have been detained since nationwide protests against Iran’s clerical establishment erupted across the country in the middle of September 2022. Some of them have been released. Others have been summoned, threatened and had their electronic equipment seized.
Known for its harsh Internet censorship, which includes banning thousands of websites, the Islamic Republic has to a large scale shut down the Internet for most of Iranians in an effort to prevent them from accessing and disseminating information online and from communicating safely.
On February 5, the Revolutionary Court in Bukan sentenced Kurdpour to nine months in prison on the charge of "propaganda against the regime" and to eight months for "disturbing public order."
Kurdpour was arrested in Bukan, in West Azerbaijan province, on September 20, 2022.
He is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Kurdish news website Mukrian News Agency, which has covered the protest movement triggered by the September 16 death of a Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, in the custody of Tehran’s morality police.
Also on February 5, authorities detained Elnaz Mohammadi, a journalist at Hammihan newspaper, at the Evin prosecutor's office in Tehran after she had gone there "for an explanation," Shargh daily reported.
It was not immediately clear why she had been summoned there.
Her sister Elaheh Mohammadi, also a journalist, was arrested on September 29 after reporting for Hammihan from Amini's funeral. She remains behind bars.