The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has strongly condemned the continuation of the closed-door trials of two women journalists who have been imprisoned in Iran for 10 months for reporting on the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini in September 2022.
“CPJ stands in solidarity with Niloofar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammdi, their families and all Iranian journalists who have been harassed, imprisoned, and persecuted for doing their work, and calls on the international community to hold Iran accountable,” CPJ Program Director Carlos Martínez de la Serna said in a statement on July 24.
“Trying journalists in closed hearings is a travesty of justice and the strongest indication that there is no evidence of wrongdoing,” he added.
The second round of separate trials of Mohammadi, a reporter for Hammihan newspaper and Hamedi of Shargh newspaper are scheduled to be held on July 25 and July 26, respectively, in Branch 15 of Tehran Revolutionary Court.
Their first closed-door hearings on charges of collaborating with the "hostile" government of the United States, colluding to commit crimes against national security, and engaging in propaganda activities against the regime were held in May.
Their lawyers said that they were not granted the opportunity to defend the journalists in court.
Human rights groups and media freedom watchdogs have condemned the arrest and prosecution of Mohammadi and Hamedi, as well as the Islamic Republic’s ongoing clampdown on dissent and the media.
Iran ranked as the world’s worst jailer of journalists in CPJ’s 2022 prison census, which documented those behind bars as of December 1.
According to the New York-based media freedom watchdog, the Islamic Republic has detained at least 95 journalists during months-long nationwide protests sparked by Amini’s death.