The Iranian judiciary has announced charges against two women journalists who have been incarcerated for seven months for covering the events surrounding Mahsa Amini’s death in police custody.
Judiciary spokesman Masoud Setayshi said on April 26 that Niloofar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi are accused of "collaborating with the hostile American government, colluding against national security and engaging in propaganda activity” against the regime. The accusations could carry the death penalty.
The indictment was given to the defendants and their lawyers on April 17 as well as to Branch 15 of the Tehran Revolution Court, Setayshi said, adding that the court hearings are expected to start within a month.
Hamedi, a reporter for the Tehran-based Shargh Daily, and Mohammadi of the daily newspaper Hammihan were arrested in September after Amini’s death sparked months of widespread protests against the country’s clerical establishment.
After their arrest, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Ministry of Intelligence published a joint statement accusing the journalists of publishing the first photograph of Amini in her hospital bed and of “fabricating news” about her funeral and the initial protests in her hometown of Saqqez.
According to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, Iranian authorities have arrested at least 95 other journalists since the eruption of the anti-government protests.