Iran sentences two journalists to jail time for ‘collusion’

Iran sentences two journalists to jail time for ‘collusion’

Two Iranian journalists will spend about a month in prison as part of a three-year partially suspended sentence for conspiracy and collusion, local media reported on Sunday.

Negin Bagheri and Elnaz Mohammadi will serve a 40th of the term, or less than a month, in prison, their lawyer Amir Raisian told the reformist Ham Mihan daily newspaper, where Mohammadi worked.

“The remaining period is suspended over five years,” during which time the women will be required to take “a professional ethics training” and will be “prohibited from leaving the country,” Mr Raisian said.

Bagheri works for the Haft-e Sobh newspaper.

Their sentence was handed down just before the first anniversary of the death of Mahsa Amini, which sparked the biggest anti-government protests in decades last year.

Last month, authorities re-arrested journalist Nazila Maroufian, who had interviewed Ms Amini’s father, two days after her release from jail.

Mohammadi’s sister Elaheh is also in prison, detained after reporting on the funeral of Ms Amini.

Local media reported last month that authorities in Iran have questioned or arrested more than 90 journalists since the protests.

Parents of protesters killed by security forces have also been detained and prevented from visiting the graves of their relatives.

About 500 people were killed in the demonstrations which swept across the country, and continue to this day in the southern city of Zahedan, the site of one of the most heavy-handed police action during the protests.

Iranian authorities have imposed stricter rules on women since the movement began, enforcing the compulsory hijab and conservative dress code.

A recent bill promising severe penalties for women who flout Tehran’s dress code would amount to gender apartheid, the UN said.

Women who have refused to wear the hijab have been banned from universities and some shops, while business owners who admit customers not wearing the hijab have been forced to close.

Authorities have also installed cameras to detect women not wearing the hijab in cars, while morality police patrols are on the rise.

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