The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) has condemned the prosecution of Iranian journalists Niloofar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi, and called for all charges against them to be dropped.
The closed trials of the journalists are reported to have started on 29 and 30 May, respectively.
IBAHRI cites the internationally recognised right of all accused persons to be accorded a fair trial, and for the due process of law to be upheld.
Niloofar Hamedi, a journalist for Shargh newspaper, and Elaheh Mohammadi, journalist for Ham-Mihan newspaper (both based in Tehran), were detained in September 2022.
They were among the first to report on the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini who died in police custody just days after she was arrested by Iran’s ‘morality police’ for not wearing her headscarf in a way deemed ‘appropriate’ by them.
Amini’s death sparked outrage across the country and led to months of nationwide anti-state protests. Hamedi and Mohammadi are being tried on charges of ‘conspiracy and rebellion against national security’ and ‘anti-state propaganda’ – charges that carry the death penalty.
Just ‘doing their jobs’
Co-Chair Anne Ramberg (Dr jur hc), commented: “The IBAHRI urges the Iranian authorities to drop all charges immediately against Ms Hamedi, Ms Mohammadi and other truth-tellers who face malicious prosecutions simply for doing their jobs.”
IBAHRI Director, Baroness Helena Kennedy KC, stated: "For too long, Iranian authorities have systematically misused the justice system to prosecute journalists, human-rights defenders and protestors. We condemn the unjust prosecution of Niloofar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi simply for doing their jobs and reporting to the public."