The Iranian government continues putting pressure on journalists who support or simply report on the case of the young woman Mahsa Aminiwhose death in police custody unleashed mass protests against the authorities and the current situation in the country. A court sentenced two Iranian journalists to three years in prison for “conspiracy” for their publications on anti-government protests, although the judge decided to partially suspend the sentence and they will have to pass one my between bars. This partial suspension is not without difficulties: according to their lawyer, Amir Raisin, the journalists are required to undergo “professional ethics training” and are prohibited from leaving the country for an indeterminate period. Both informants, Negin Bagheri y Elnaz Mohammadiwork for the digital newspaper Ham Mihanconsidered critical of the government. Mohammadi’s sister, Elaheh, has been imprisoned since September 2022 for inform about the funeral from Amini. Elaheh Mohammadi is accused of “collaborating with an enemy government”, acting “against national security” and “propaganda against the state”, charges that could carry the death penalty if convicted, according to her lawyers. For the moment, a hearing of the trial has been held, in which the attendance of the lawyer or the family of the accused has not been allowed. The sentence of Bagheri and Mohammadi occurs a few days after September 16, the First anniversary from the Amini’s passing away and the protests that took place in dozens of cities in the country, the largest anti-government movement in decades.
Last Wednesday, an Iranian news agency reported the arrest, the second detention in less than a year, of the journalist Nazila Maroufian, also critical of the government’s actions, for allegedly violating the strict dress code that governs the country. According to local media, until August at least 90 journalists they have been detained or questioned for their work on the protests.
The pressure for the protests also extends to the media critical of the Government. This week the digital media Entekhab, close to the reformist faction, was blocked by the Chamber of Press Supervision, as announced by the newspaper itself. “Entekhan’s internet access has been blocked a moment ago following an order,” the newspaper said on its social media. Your publisher, Mostafa Faghihi, believes that the ban is due to an article about the leader of the Friday prayers, which mentioned the creation of jobs in the country. The state agency Fars, on the other hand, affirmed that the medium has been blocked for publishing an article that questions the weakness of Iranian foreign policy.
Organizations for the defense of human rights have denounced on multiple occasions the opacity of the media blocking and the judicial processes of the journalists imprisoned for the protests against the regime.
At least 520 people have been killed in protests so far this year, including dozens of protesters and security members. An unknown number of people have been arrestedaccording to several thousands of NGOs, for participating in what officials call “riots” instigated from abroad. The protests continue to this day and are concentrated in the southern city of Zahedan. Associations for the defense of human rights have denounced the intoxication of thousands of girls students in educational centers, in what they describe as an attack against the freedom of girls and women in the midst of protests against the Iranian regime. Following the anti-government moves, the Iranian authorities have imposed even stricter measures on the dress code of women, including closing down the businesses of women who refuse to wear headscarves or installing surveillance cameras to spot women who are not veiled in their cars.