Freelance Iranian journalist Saeedeh Shafiei, who covers economics and the oil and gas industries for outlets including the state-run semi-reformist Shargh Daily, Donya-e-Eqtesad, and Ensafnews, is serving a three-and-a-half year prison sentence on an anti-state conviction in Tehran’s Evin prison.
On November 19, 2023, Shafiei was arrested after she responded to a court summons to begin a prison sentence dating from several months prior, according to the exile-run Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA).
Shafiei was initially arrested on January 22 from her home in Tehran by intelligence agents of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps over her coverage on social media of the 2022 protests over the death in morality-police custody of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini. Shafiei was placed in solitary confinement in ward 2A of Evin prison, which is run by intelligence unit of the IRGC, according to news reports. Security forces confiscated her personal devices during the arrest. The journalist was released on bail on February 7.
In August, Shafiei was sentenced to three-and-a-half years for spreading propaganda and colluding and assembling against national security by Judge Iman Afshari of Branch 26 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court. During the trial, the judge cited her social media posts as evidence against her, HRANA reported. In early September, the sentence, which also included a two-year ban on leaving the country and a two-year ban on participating in any political group or assembly, was upheld on appeal
According to a source who spoke to CPJ on the condition of anonymity due to the fear of reprisal, Shafiei suffers from a health condition for which she takes medication, but has been denied the pills in prison.
CPJ emailed Iran’s mission to the United Nations in late 2023 for comment on the cases of imprisoned journalists but did not receive a response.