Reihaneh Tabatabaie

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Reihaneh Tabatabaie, a journalist who wrote for the reformist newspapers Sharq, Bahar, and Farhikhtegan, began serving her one-year prison sentence on January 12, 2016, according to reformist news website Kalameh. Judge Abolqasem Salavati, presiding over Branch 15 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran, had on November 17, 2015, convicted Tabatabie of the charge of “propagandizing against the state,” but the journalist had not yet begun serving her sentence when the Committee to Protect Journalists conducted its annual prison census on December 1, 2015. Judge Salavati further banned the journalist from any journalistic or political activities, or from publishing anything to social media websites, the BBC’s Persian service reported.

On July 17, 2016, Tabatabaie was granted a four-day furlough to attend her uncle’s funeral, she told ILNA news agency.

Tabatabaie had been jailed several times prior to the sentence she began serving in January 2016.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards first detained Tabatabaie on November 12, 2010, and held her in solitary confinement in Ward 2A of Evin Prison for 36 days, according reports. In April 2012, Branch 26 of the Islamic Revolutionary Courإt in Tehran imposed a suspended, one-year prison sentence on the journalist for “propagandizing against the state” in her articles about the Green Movement. The Green Movement is an opposition protest movement that rose in the aftermath of the 2009 elections, which the movement claims were fraudulent.

An appeals court subsequently reduced that suspended sentence to six months in prison and six months of probation, according to pressreports.

On June 21, 2014, judicial authorities summoned Tabatabaie to Evin Prison Court and informed her that she would face new charges of “propagandizing against the state.” She posted bail of 2 billion rials (US$63,700) on that charge, but was sent to Evin prison to serve her previously suspended six-month sentence.

Her trial on the charges for which she was jailed in January 2016 began in November 2014, according to pressreports. She finished serving her previous sentence the following month, and was not incarcerated during the rest of her trial.

CPJ could not determine which news articles related to the two most recent charges of “propagandizing against the state.”

As of late 2016, Tabatabaie was held in Evin Prison. On November 8, 2016, Kalameh published an open letter from the journalist to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in which she wrote, “when our newspapers are shut down in less than a year, when we have to fear detention and solitary confinement, what do we need health insurance for? We need security. We want protection from judicial [abuse] that shutters our newspapers, detains us, and bans us from working.”