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Two journalists stand trial in Iran for tales that sparked protest motion

Two feminine Iranian journalists went on trial behind closed doorways this week for his or her reporting on the dying of Mahsa Amini, which sparked a well-liked rebellion.

The Kurdish lady, 22, died in custody of Iran’s “morality police” final yr after she was detained for an alleged violation of the nation’s conservative costume code for girls.

Elahe Mohammadi, a reporter with Ham-Mihan newspaper, and Niloofar Hamedi, of Shargh newspaper, introduced early consideration to the story, which set off widespread protests and a broader motion to finish clerical rule.

The journalists, who’ve spent months in detentions, stand accused of “colluding with hostile powers” — a cost they deny, based on their households, and which might carry an extended sentence or the dying penalty. The federal government has not introduced any proof publicly backing up the allegations.

Iran executes three males related to anti-government protests

Advocates and rights teams say the reporters have little hope of a good trial and even fundamental due course of below Iran’s notoriously opaque and politicized judicial system. 1000’s of demonstrators stay jailed, and at the least seven have been executed, in connection to the protest motion.

Mohammadi’s trial opened Monday in Department 15 of Iran’s Revolutionary Courtroom, a parallel judicial system tasked with defending the Islamic Republic. Hamedi’s trial started Tuesday in the identical court docket overseen by Abulqasem Salavati, referred to as Iran’s “hanging choose” for the frequency of his harsh rulings.

The courts haven’t stated when a ruling can be issued.

“We’ve got already seen a rash of unfair trials after 1000’s of protesters, together with journalists, had been arbitrarily detained as a part of the Islamic Republic’s crackdown,” stated Nassim Papayianni, senior campaigner for the Iran staff at Amnesty Worldwide, a number one human rights group. “These trials have began amid a horrific spike in executions and different severe violations in Iran.”

Papayianni stated each ladies have been held for days in solitary confinement and topic to repeated interrogations with out entry to a lawyer. Forward of the trials, their attorneys couldn’t entry the case recordsdata towards them, as is typical within the Revolutionary Courtroom, she stated.

Hamedi’s husband, Mohammad Hossein Ajorlou, stated on Twitter on Tuesday that she “denied all the costs towards her and emphasised that she had carried out her responsibility as a journalist primarily based on the regulation.” The trial, he stated, “resulted in lower than two hours whereas her attorneys didn’t get an opportunity to defend her.”

Shahabeddin Mirlohi, Mohammadi’s lawyer, recounted the identical in feedback to Ham-Mihan, a pro-reform information outlet. His feedback seem to have elicited criticism from the judiciary’s Mizan Information Company, which accused Mohammadi’s lawyer of constructing an “unlawful” and “false assertion” concerning time allotted for a protection.

Households of each ladies had been denied entry to their trials, based on Ajorlou and Mirlohi. As a substitute, family and friends waited exterior the courthouse for a glimpse via the tinted home windows of the vans transporting them, their newspapers reported.

The “lady, life, freedom” protest motion started in mid-September after the dying of Amini on Sept. 16. She had been detained her three days earlier in Tehran for alleged violations of the obligatory costume code, which features a hijab requirement for girls. Amini was hospitalized for accidents sustained in custody. Her household later stated she was overwhelmed to dying.

As information unfold of Amini’s situation, Hamedi went to the hospital to report and snapped a photograph of Amini’s household in a somber embrace. It went viral. After Amini died, Mohammadi traveled to the younger lady’s hometown of Saqez, in Iran’s Kurdistan province. She reported from Amini’s funeral, which was a protest after police tried to disperse it in a violent crackdown.

Each ladies had been arrested on the finish of September. In November, the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and the intelligence company of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, the guardians of Iran’s safety state, accused the U.S. CIA of orchestrating Hamedi and Mohammadi’s reporting and serving to to plan the nationwide, leaderless unrest.

Protesters arrested in Iran face a justice system stacked towards them

For months, 1000’s of Iranians took to the streets every day to denounce state repression and demand the tip of theocratic rule, arrange after the 1979 revolution. Iranian authorities responded with an more and more violent crackdown, killing greater than 500 protesters and bystanders and arresting some 20,000 others, based on HRANA, a Virginia-based activist information company centered on Iran. By the winter, demonstrations died down; in February, Iran’s supreme chief, Ayatollah Khamenei, issued amnesty, at the least briefly, for 1000’s of protesters.

However key activists and public figures, resembling Hamedi and Mohammadi, stay detained and susceptible to the dying penalty. Within the newest escalation, on Could 19, Iran executed three males related to the anti-government protests, after state media aired alleged confessions that rights teams stated had been in all probability coerced below torture. At the least seven extra males related to the protests stay on dying row, based on HRANA.

“We imagine that is a part of the Iranian authorities’ marketing campaign to torment and terrorize the Iranian inhabitants inside Iran to deliver an finish to the protests,” stated Papayianni, the Amnesty campaigner.

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