Iranian police arrive to disperse an October 26. 2022 Tehran protest over the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. Journalists Niloofar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammdi are among the journalists detained and facing trials in the wake of those protests. (AP Photo)

CPJ condemns trials of Iranian journalists Niloofar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi

Washington, D.C., July 24, 2023 –  The Committee to Protect Journalists strongly condemns the continuation of the closed-door trials of journalists Niloofar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi, who were among the first journalists to report on the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini in September 2022.

“CPJ stands in solidarity with Niloofar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammdi, their families and all Iranian journalists who have been harassed, imprisoned, and persecuted for doing their work, and calls on the international community to hold Iran accountable,” said CPJ Program Director Carlos Martínez de la Serna on Monday. “Trying journalists in closed hearings is a travesty of justice and the strongest indication that there is no evidence of wrongdoing.”

The second round of separate trials of Mohammadi and Hamedi are scheduled to be held on Tuesday, July 25, and Wednesday July 26, respectively, in Branch 15 of Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary courts, where notoriously hardline Judge Abolqasem Salavati presides.

Their first closed-door hearings on charges of “colluding against national security for hostile states,” including the United States, were held on May 29 and May 30, 2023. That charge can carry up to 10 years in prison.

Iran ranked as the world’s worst jailer of journalists in in CPJ’s 2022 prison census, which documented those behind bars as of December 1. Overall, authorities are known to have detained at least 95 journalists in the wake of nationwide protests following Amini’s death.