Iranian scribe goes on trial for reporting on Kurdish woman’s custodial death

Tehran, May 30 (EFE).- An Iranian court held a closed-door trial on Tuesday for a female reporter who highlighted the case of Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish woman who died in custody last year.

Amini’s custodial death in September sparked widespread anti-government protests and outrage in the Islamic Republic.

The woman journalist, Niloofar Hamedi, was arrested for reporting on the custodial death of another woman detained by the morality police on Sep.13, 2022, allegedly for donning her hijab improperly.

On Tuesday, as the trial began, Hamedi sat on the bench of room 15 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court, her husband Mohamed Hosein tweeted.

The prosecution has accused her of “collaborating with the hostile government of the United States,” endangering Iran’s national security and spreading propaganda against the country, Hosein said.

If convicted, the charges could carry the death penalty, activists say.

Hosein said Hamedi denied the allegations and emphasized that she performed her duties as a journalist within the framework of the law and did not take act against Iran’s security.

He said that family members were not allowed to attend, and the defense lawyers did not get a chance to defend the accused.

“The trial lasted less than two hours and was filmed by the judiciary media center. Finally, the proceedings were postponed to the next sessions, the date of which is not known yet.”

Hamedi worked for the reformist Shargh Daily newspaper in Tehran.

The newspaper published a photo of Amini in a hospital when she was in a coma.

Days later, Hamedi published another image of the young Kurdish woman’s parents in the hospital corridor after learning of the death of their daughter.

Amini died on Sep 16 after being arrested for allegedly violating the country’s conservative dress code. Protests began a day later at her funeral.

The unrest spread to other cities within days, shaking the country for months.

Hamedi’s trial begins a day after another female journalist, Elahe Mohammadi went on trial for her coverage of Amini’s funeral in her Kurdish hometown Saqez, the origin of protests.

The two female reporters were arrested in September and have spent several months of their detention in solitary confinement, their families alleged.

They were not allowed to meet with their lawyers until Sunday, a day before Mohammadi’s trial began.

Mohammadi was a reporter with the pro-reform Hammihan newspaper.

The daily denounced that her lawyer was not allowed to speak during the closed-door hearing on Monday.

Journalism and human rights groups have strongly criticized the trials of the two journalists.

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