Iran has charged two women journalists with propaganda against the state, the judiciary said Tuesday, as it presses a crackdown on protests sparked by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini.
The clerical state has been rocked by a protest movement that erupted on September 16 when Amini, 22, died after her arrest for allegedly breaking Iran’s strict hijab dress rules for women.
Niloufar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi, who have both already spent more than a month in detention, “have been remanded in custody for propaganda against the system and conspiring against national security,” judiciary spokesman Massoud Setayeshi told a weekly briefing in Tehran.
Hamedi, 30, a journalist for the reformist Shargh newspaper, was arrested on September 20, after she visited the hospital where Amini spent three days in her coma before her death.
Mohammadi, 35, a reporter for the Ham Mihan newspaper, was arrested on September 29 after she travelled to Amini’s hometown of Saqez in Kurdistan province to cover her funeral.
The reformist newspaper Sazandegi reported late last month that more than 20 journalists remained in custody for their reporting of Amini’s death or the subsequent unrest. It said several others had been summoned by the authorities.
On October 30, more than 300 journalists issued a joint statement criticising the detention of their colleagues and the denial of their rights, including access to a lawyer.
Dozens of people, most of them demonstrators, have been killed in the protests over Amini’s death. Hundreds more have been arrested.
“People, even among those protesting, are demanding the judiciary deal firmly with the few people who have caused trouble and committed crimes, of course with full respect for Muslim law and legal norms, and the judicial system will act on this basis,” said Setayeshi.
Since the start of the protests, more than 2,000 people have been charged, half of them in Tehran, according to the judiciary.