Journalists Niloofar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi have been detained in Iran’s notorious Evin prison since late September. I’m here.
in a joint statement Sent to Iranian media late Friday local time, Iran’s intelligence ministry and the intelligence services of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the much-feared guardian of the Iranian security state, said the CIA had reported Hamedi and Mohammadi “Allied spy services and fanatical agents” planned a nationwide leaderless unrest.
Most feared security forces stand by as protests rock Iran
The CIA, along with British, Israeli and Saudi spy agencies, extensively planned to launch a nationwide riot in Iran “with the aim of committing crimes against the great country of Iran and its territorial integrity.” pressure from,” he said in an unsubstantiated statement. It also claimed, without providing proof, that two journalists had trained abroad and were sent to provoke Amini’s family and spread disinformation.
Hamedi and Mohammadi’s top editors Saturday denied the charges, saying the journalists were just doing their jobs.
“What they referred to as evidence in the prosecution is a precise definition of a journalist’s professional obligations,” the Iranian Journalists Association said. in a statement on Saturday.
The journalist, who had two outlets outside Iran and was the first to report on Amini’s case, also condemned the accusation and told The Washington Post that neither Hamdi nor Mohammadi were the original sources.
“This is a threat to other journalists and other media outlets, and if they continue to publish the news…they will have these accusations,” said Iran, initiated by a former Newsweek reporter. Aida Gadjar, a France-based reporter for The Wire News Outlet, said: .
Branding reporters as foreign spies “This is the scenario that the Iranian regime uses all the time against journalists,” she added.
Another frequent target of Iranian state propaganda, Mohsen Mohemani, a reporter for the London-based Iran International, also said they relied on their own sources to “suppress the media and the opposition”. called an indictment intended to
In a perhaps ominous sign, the head of the Revolutionary Guard warned on Saturday that “today is the last day of rioting” – the Revolutionary Guard’s toughest statement, but could step up widespread crackdown on protests. suggests that there is .
More than 200 people, including dozens of children, were killed and more than 12,000 arrested, according to human rights groups. Authorities on Monday launched initial charges against some 500 protesters who were detained.
About 45 Iranian journalists have been arrested, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists. Most American news outlets, including the Washington Post, are barred from reporting in Iran, where widespread cell phone and internet outages in recent weeks have made reporting very difficult. there is
Washington Post correspondent Jason Lezaian previously spent 544 days in Evin Prison on false charges of being a spy for the United States.
Hamedi, a reporter for the reformed daily Shargh, published a widely shared report on Sept. 16 from Tehran’s Kasra hospital. Amini died on Sept. 13 after being hospitalized while in police custody on a clothing violation charge. Hamedi also shared a photo of her Amini’s distraught family at the hospital since deactivating her Twitter account.
Iranian officials claimed Amini suffered a heart attack. Her family said police beaten her daughter, who is also known by her Kurdish name Zina, to death.
Mohammadi, a reporter for Ham Mihan, another daily newspaper affiliated with Iran’s reformist politicians, reported on Amini’s funeral in his hometown of Saqez in northwestern Kurdistan on Sept. 17. Security forces attacked a funeral, mourners chanted slogans against the Islamic Republic, and women took off their mandated headscarves in the first mass protest of the uprising.
Security forces arrested Hamedi on September 22 and Mohammadi on September 29.
Despite the dangers of publicizing human rights abuses by the state, reports of Amini’s case soon began to circulate.
Sajjad Khodakarami, an Iranian journalist based in Istanbul, said he first saw an Instagram story posted by a Kasra hospital witness late on September 13.Kodakarami contacted the person the next morning and said the person had been subpoenaed by Iranian authorities and told to remove the post. Tweeted about the new report We worked with Iran International to cover the story and shared a screenshot of the Instagram post with The Post, but did not name the person for their own safety.
Shargh editor-in-chief Mehdi Rahmanian, who was previously arrested for reporting on the paper, issued a statement on Saturday denying the state accusations.
“Publishing the photos and reports about Masa Amini was the right thing to do and we were just doing our duty to spread the news,” he said. Rachmanian coordinated with Hamedi “at every stage of her work,” he added.
Reform politician Gollum Hossein Karvaski Ham Mihan’s editor-in-chief told the semi-official ILNA news agency on Saturday that Iran’s open media environment “will be more beneficial to the country’s security.”