Journalists Niloofar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi have reportedly been detained in Iran’s Evin prison since late September as a result of the publishing of their article and the accompanying feminist demonstrations. Now, Iran is formally accusing journalists of being CIA spies after article sparks a national uprising.
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Iran has officially accused two female Iranian journalists with being CIA secret agents and “primary sources of news for foreign media” since they helped uncover the story of Masha Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman whose death last month while apprehended by so-called “morality police” triggered a major national insurgency.
The charge carries the death penalty.
Journalists Niloofar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi have reportedly been detained in Iran’s Evin prison since late September as a result of the publishing of their article and the accompanying feminist demonstrations demanding the overthrow of Iran’s religious authorities, according to reports from the Washington Post.
The editors of the journalists have refuted the accusations and stated that the women were simply carrying out their duties.
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“What they have referred to as evidence for their charges is the exact definition of journalists’ professional duty,” said the Journalist Association of Iran said in a statement Saturday.
Some journalists outside of Iran told the Post that Hamedi and Mohammadi were not their principal sources.
“This is a threat to other journalists, other media that if they continue publishing the news … they are going to have these charges,” said France-based journalist Aida Ghajar, with the Iran Wire news outlet.
According to rights organizations, over 200 individuals have been murdered, including dozens of children, during the crackdown on protesters, and over 12,000 have been detained. Authorities began charging 500 detained demonstrators on Monday.
Additionally, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists reports that 45 Iranian journalists have been arrested.
“This scenario” of branding reporters as foreign spies “is the scenario that the Iranian regime always uses against the journalists.”