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Journalism is not a Crime

Open Letter in Support of Jailed Iranian Journalists Hamedi, Mohammadi

October 18, 2023
1 min read
According to the New York-based media freedom watchdog, the Islamic Republic has detained at least 95 journalists during last year’s nationwide protests
According to the New York-based media freedom watchdog, the Islamic Republic has detained at least 95 journalists during last year’s nationwide protests

An open letter signed by 200 Iranian journalists and writers decried the continued incarceration of Niloofar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi, who have been jailed for more than an year for their coverage of Mahsa Amini's death while in police custody.

The letter, which was published by Shargh newspaper on October 17, calls for the immediate release of the two women.

"We, the journalists and writers of Iran, stress that we will not tolerate arbitrary, extra-legal and contradictory actions that infringe upon the freedoms guaranteed by the constitution. Such actions provide fertile ground for those who wish ill upon the people,” it reads.

The signatories noted that the defendants are still awaiting the verdicts nearly three months after their separate trials ended following two closed-door hearings.

Hamedi and Mohammadi are being held at Tehran’s Evin prison. They are accused 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.

Before her arrest, Hamedi captured an image of Amini’s parents embracing each other at a Tehran hospital while their daughter was in a coma, and shared the photo on Twitter.

Mohammadi covered Amini’s funeral in her hometown of Saqqez, where nationwide protests sparked by the 22-year-old woman’s death first erupted.

According to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, the Islamic Republic has detained at least 95 journalists during last year’s nationwide protests.

Many have been released on bail while awaiting trial or summonses to serve multi-year sentences.

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