Imprisoned Iranian journalists Elaheh Mohammadi, Niloofar Hamedi and Nasim Soltan Beigi, among other women prisoners, were restricted from contact outside for one month, after they chanted slogans about “unfair sentences” when high-ranking judicial authorities visited Tehran’s Evin prison on 27 December. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) strongly condemns the punitive actions taken against them and calls on the Iranian authorities to release all imprisoned journalists and media workers.

Following the protest in Evin prison, they were deprived of making phone calls and having visits for a month. The women detainees, journalists Elaheh Mohammadi, Niloofar Hamedi and Nasim Soltan Beigi among them, were threatened by prison authorities, who may also bring forward additional charges and relocate them to remote prisons.

On 22 October, 2023, Niloofar Hamedi, a reporter for Shargh Daily, and Elaheh Mohammadi, reporter for Hammihan newspaper, were sentenced to seven years and six years in jail respectively by the Revolutionary Court. The court also added a further five years in prison to each of their sentences for “acting against the national security” and a year for propaganda.

Both journalists were among the first to cover the death and the funeral of the 22-year old Jina/Mahsa Amini on 16 September 2022 that sparked nationwide protests across numerous cities in Iran.

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger says: “The escalating suppression of the media, along with the ongoing arrest of journalists and heightened pressure on media professionals, is a growing concern. The crackdown on the media in the country is raising alarms about a severe infringement on the free flow of information. This must stop now. All journalists unfairly being held behind bars should be released immediately.”

To date, nine journalists are still being held unfairly in prison.

1- Mrs Niloofar Hamedi, a journalist and reporter at Shargh newspaper, was arrested at her home in Tehran on 22 September 2022.

2- Mrs Elahe Mohammadi, a journalist and reporter at Hammihan newspaper, was arrested at her home in Tehran on 23 September 2022.

3- Mr Rebawa Saidmohamadi, a Sahar TV journalist, was arrested last year after returning from Iraqi Kurdistan and sentenced to seven years in jail.

4- Mr Kamyar Fakoor, the Khabaronline labour reporter, has been in jail since 9 May 2023 and is serving a nine-month jail term.

5- Mrs Vida Rabani, a freelance journalist at Shargh newspaper, was arrested on 24 September 2022 at her home in Tehran; she went on medical leave on 21 June 2023 and returned to Evin prison on 2 September 2023 again.

6- Mr Soltanali Abedi, editor in chief of the Diar Ayar website in Sistan and Balouchestan province, went to jail on 4 November 2023 to spend his one-year jail time.

7- Mrs Saideh Shafie, a freelance economic journalist, went to jail on 19 November 2023 for her 3-year and six-month sentence.

8- Mrs Nasim Soltanbeighi, a journalist at Nasim Bidari magazine, went to jail on 21 November 2023 for her three-year and six-month sentence.

9- Mr Ebrahim Rashidi, a freelance journalist in Meshin Shahr, was arrested on 1 January 2024 in his home by security forces.

Source » ifj