Iran’s judiciary denied on August 1 that Niloofar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi – two women journalists who have been detained for 10 months – are being prosecuted for having reported on the September 2022 death of Mahsa Amini.
However, in his recent verdict against Sajjad Shahrabi, a radio announcer and dubber, Judge Mohammad Reza Amozad mentioned IranWire’s coverage of Amini’s death in police custody: "During the events of last year, IranWire published news about Mahsa Amini's death for the first time. Subsequently, other media outlets also picked it up and reported on this."
Shahrabi is a brother of Shima Shahrabi, the editor-in-chief of IranWire’s Persian-language website.
IranWire was not the first media outlet to report Amini’s death, but it broke the news that the 22-year-old woman had fallen into a coma while in detention. It also revealed Amini's identity and published details of her arrest in Tehran for allegedly wearing a headscarf improperly.
During his interrogations, Shahrabi was asked questions about IranWire's coverage of the tragedy.
He was arrested at his father's house on May 3 by agents from the Intelligence Ministry, and spent 37 days in Tehran’s Evin prison before being released on bail.
He faced two charges: "gathering and collusion to commit a crime against internal and external security" and "propaganda against the system."
Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court handled the case.
Amozad's preliminary ruling outlined not only the defendant’s activities but also mentioned those of IranWire and his sister.
The judge said Shahrabi had denied all the accusations against him and that he was acquitted of the “security" charges.
Shahrabi received a ten-month prison sentence and a two-year travel ban. He was also barred from working for state media and banned from any social media activity for a period of two years. All his belongings seized during the raid on his father’s house were confiscated: two laptops, a mobile phone and a hard drive.
His father, who was also summoned for interrogation about the activities of his daughter and IranWire, has not recovered his confiscated cell phone and money in foreign currency that he needs because of his jewelry and goldsmith business.
The sentence issued against Shahrabi can be appealed. IranWire will publish a full interview with him next week.