In another matter of concern over press freedom in Iran, the government has sentenced two woman journalists to a three-year imprisonment on charges of conspiracy and collusion. The journalists have been identified as Negin Bagheri and Elnz Mohammadi.
However, the two journalists will serve a fraction of the term that will amount to less than a month, according to their lawyer. The remaining portion of their sentence will be suspended for upto five years, during which they will undergo “professional ethics training” and their departure from Iran will be prohibited, Geo News reported.
Details related to their arrest have not yet been disclosed. Journalists often face challenges and dangers in carrying out their responsibilities in Iran. Elnaz’s sister Elahe, also a journalist, has been detained since September last year after covering the funeral of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, whose custodial death led to widespread protests in the country.
Protests in Iran
Amini was arrested on the charges of wearing her hijab improperly. She was reportedly beaten up by officers in the head with a baton after which she called collapsed on the way to a detention centre. Since then, protests have been held against the dress code, in which 600 protesters have reportedly been killed. Many women stopped wearing hijabs as a challenge to the clerical rule in the Middle Eastern country.
Iranian authorities have called the protests as ‘foreign-instigated riots’ and seven men have been executed in protest-related cases. In the crackdown against protests, Iranian authorities are said to have extended their reach towards journalists and media professionals as well.
As per reports, Iranian authorities have detained or questioned over 90 journalists since the protests in 2022. Journalist Nazila Maroufian was re-arrested on August 30, after being been released on bail in the case of defying Iran’s strict dress code.
However, some people staunchly back the strict dress code in Iran. In April, a man was seen throwing yoghurt on two women for not wearing hijabs. The man, as well as the women, were subsequently arrested. Many celebrities, including actress Taraneh Alidoosti, have been ‘summoned by the judiciary body over publishing provocative content and that some had been arrested.