Conflicts & War

Iranian journalists call for release of colleagues accused of CIA links

Tehran, Oct 30 (EFE).- More than 300 Iranian journalists on Sunday called for the release of two of their colleagues detained for their reporting on the death of Mahsa Amini, for which they have been accused of working for the CIA.

The Tehran Journalists Association published an open letter in several Iranian newspapers Sunday urging authorities to release Nilufar Hamedi, who went to the hospital where Amini was admitted before her death, and Elahe Mohammadi, who reported on the 22-year-old woman’s funeral.

“Journalism is not a crime,” ran the front-page headline of the Sazandegi daily newspaper, accompanied by photos of Hamedi, Mohammadi and 11 other journalists detained for reporting on the protests that erupted in the wake of Amini’s death in police custody on September 16.

The Hammihan newspaper dedicated its front page to Hamedi and Mohammadi, who have become symbols of repressed free speech in the country.

Iran’s intelligence ministry and the intelligence unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a powerful military unit founded to enforce the rules of the Islamic republic, on Friday accused the two reporters of receiving training from the United States Central Intelligence Agency.

Hamedi published the image of Amini lying in a hospital bed, in a coma and intubated, and days later she published another photograph of the young women’s parents embracing in the hospital corridor after her death.

The journalist, who works for the reformist Shargh newspaper, was detained on September 21, is being held in solitary confinement and has not been notified of the charges against her, her husband, Mohamed Hosein Ajorlou, said on Twitter.

Mohammadi reported on Amini’s funeral, held on September 17 in her home city of Saqez, in the Kurdish-populated west of the country that became the stage for the earliest outbreaks of protest.

Mohammadi works for the Hammihan newspaper, and was detained on September 22 after police agents broke into her house. They also seized her computer and cellphone.

Hamedi and Mohammadi are among 45 journalists and photographers detained since the unrest began, according to human rights groups.EFE


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