Editors condemn prison sentences for Iranian journalists

2023-10-27. Iranian journalists Niloofar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi, recipients of WAN-IFRA’s 2023 Golden Pen of Freedom Award, were sentenced this week to 12 and 13 years in prison, drawing widespread condemnation and renewed calls for their release.

Niloofar Hamedi (l) and Elaheh Mohammadi (r) were among the first to report on the death of Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish woman, which sparked protests in Iran. Credit: Mehrdad Aladin/dpa/Alamy Live News

by WAN-IFRA Staff | October 27, 2023

Iranian journalists Niloofar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi were arrested in September 2022 following their coverage of the death of Mahsa Amini while in police custody.

They have now been in jail for over a year, and this week an Iranian Revolutionary Court sentenced them to 13 and 12 years in prison respectively.

“They received seven years and six years each respectively for collaborating with the hostile U.S. government. Then each five years in prison for acting against the national security and each one year in prison for propaganda against the system,” Iran’s state news agency IRNA reported.

Hamedi and Mohammadi were awarded WAN-IFRA’s Golden Pen of Freedom in June this year for their courage and professionalism. The two Iranian journalists were instrumental in publicising news about Mahsa Amini’s death while in police custody, as well as the nationwide protests that followed.

Martha Ramos, President of the World Editors Forum, condemned the sentences and reiterated the call for their release.

“We said it at the time of the Award, and say it again: Our voices are raised, as one, loud and clear, so they hear us all the way in Tehran: Release Niloofar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi and all jailed journalists. Let the press live free in Iran, once and for all.”

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