The Paris-based media freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has urged Iranian authorities to release Elahe Mohammadi, a journalist it said has been incarcerated for the past 11 months for “giving a voice to women” in Iran.
Mohammadi has been held since her arrest on September, 29, 2022, for covering the funeral of Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old woman who died in police custody on September 16 after being arrested for being “inappropriately” dressed.
She went on trial in May on charges that include “conspiracy” and “collusion” and is now awaiting a verdict, while her twin sister, fellow journalist Elnaz Mohammadi, has received a three-year suspended prison sentence earlier this month for covering the monthslong “Woman, Life, Freedom” protests that were sparked by Amini’s death.
“By imprisoning Elaheh Mohammadi for the past 11 months and punishing Elnaz Mohammadi, the Iranian government shows that it is determined to silence these two sister journalists and the women whose views they report,” Jonathan Dagher, head of RSF’s Middle East desk, said in a statement on September 6.
In 2023, Elahe Mohammadi and Niloofar Hamedi, a journalist who is currently a fellow detainee in Tehran’s Evin prison, were included in Time Magazine’s list of the world’s most influential people and were awarded the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize together with a third jailed Iranian woman, Narges Mohammadi (not related to the journalists).
Unlike her sister, Elnaz Mohammadi does not languish behind bars, but she is banned from leaving Iran, from talking to foreign media and from practicing journalism. She is also required to regularly attend a course on “ethical journalism.”