Iranian who interviewed Amini's father says sentenced without hearing

AFP , Saturday 28 Jan 2023

An Iranian journalist who was arrested after interviewing the father of Mahsa Amini, whose death in custody sparked months of protests, said Saturday she had been sentenced without a court hearing.

Protesters marching on a street in Iran s Kurdish city of Mahabad
Protesters marching on a street in Iran s Kurdish city of Mahabad as demonstrations re-erupt a day after a protester was killed in a rally commemorating the 40th day since Mahsa Amini s death. AFP


Nazila Maroufian, a Tehran-based journalist from Amini's hometown of Saqez in Kurdistan province, was arrested in late October and detained in Tehran's Evin prison, the Norway-based Hengaw rights group had reported previously.

"According to the decision of the 26th branch of the Revolutionary Court headed by Judge Afshari, I was sentenced to two years in prison, a fine... and a five-year ban from leaving the country," Maroufian said on Twitter.

"The sentence of two years in prison is suspended for five years," she said.

"This verdict was given without a court hearing and defence from me," she said, adding that the charges were "propaganda against the regime and spreading false news".

Maroufian, who works for the Ruydad 24 news site, had published an interview with Amini's father Amjad on the Mostaghel Online news site on October 19.

The headline of the interview read, "Mahsa Amini's father: 'They are lying!'"

Mostaghel has since taken down the piece but a cached version shows that the father denied his daughter had any underlying health condition.

Amini's family contend that she was dealt a fatal blow in police custody. The Iranian authorities dispute this but the anger over her death triggered the protest wave.

Iran has been gripped by demonstrations since the September 16 death of Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd who had been arrested by morality police for allegedly breaching the country's dress code for women.

Authorities say hundreds of people, including members of the security forces, have been killed and thousands arrested during what they label as "riots" incited by the "enemies" of the Islamic republic.

It estimated that about 80 journalists have been arrested since unrest erupted.

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