Fresh charges against released Iranian journalists over hair covering

Tehran, Jan 15, (dpa/GNA) – Fresh judicial proceedings, have been initiated against two award-winning female Iranian journalists, immediately after their release from prison, the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) reported on Monday.

The women, Elaheh Mohammadi and Niloofar Hamedi, who were released on Sunday, are to face fresh charges relating to photos published of them without their hair being covered, according to INSA.

The Misan website, which puts out press information from the judiciary, confirmed the new charges without naming the journalists.

Hamedi and Mohammadi were released, after more than 400 days in detention on bail of the equivalent of $198,000. The large amount drew criticism from the country’s association of journalists.

Hamedi and Mohammadi were among the first to report the death of the young Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, in mid-September 2022, after she was detained by the country’s morality police for failing to cover her hair adequately.

Amini fell into a coma and died on September 16. Her death unleashed countrywide protests, in which the country’s political system as a whole came in for criticism.

In October, a court handed down lengthy sentences to Hamedi and Mohammadi, finding that they had collaborated with the United States. They were permitted to appeal.

The UN cultural organization UNESCO, awarded Hamedi and Mohammadi its world press freedom prize in May last year, while they were in prison.