Iran: Journalists Freed From Jail Charged Again For ‘No Hijab’

Niloofar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi had been released on bail on January 14 but faced charges again less than a week later. They were first charged in 2023 for their coverage of the death of Mahsa Amini.

Tanya Savkoor
New Update
Niloofar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi charged for not wearing hijab to trial

Image: AFP

Two Iranian journalists, who spent 17 months imprisoned and were freed on bail recently, have been charged once again under the country's mandatory hijab law for being seen with their hair showing during their release. Niloofar Hamedi (31) and Elaheh Mohammadi (36) were arrested for their coverage of Mahsa Amini, the 23-year-old woman who was arrested for not wearing a hijab and died in police custody. 


According to the Iranian news agency Mizan, the journalists were released on January 14 and hundreds of their supporters and family came to receive them. The duo was seen posing for the cameras with their hair uncovered. These published photographs provoked additional charges, days after their release.

Hamedi-Mohammadi Arrest and Release

Niloofar Hamedi, sentenced to 13 years, and Elaheh Mohammadi, sentenced to 12 years, were released on a bail of 10 billion tomans (£150,000) on appeal. On January 15, Mizan reported that the two journalists have now been charged for not wearing a hijab after photos of them celebrating their release were published online. 

Masih Alinejad, an Iranian journalist living in exile in the US, told The Guardian, “Compulsory hijab is the main pillar of this gender apartheid regime. That’s why the authorities in Iran want to punish these two women, who resisted forced veiling and practised their civil disobedience. In the eyes of Islamic Republic officials, they are criminals, but in the eyes of millions of Iranian women, they are our heroes.”

Hamedi and Mohammadi were among the first journalists to report on the death of Amini in 2022. They were arrested days after anti-regime protests engulfed Iran. They were sentenced by a revolutionary court in 2023 after they were found guilty of "spreading propaganda", "committing a crime against national security", and "collaborating with a foreign state".

On January 15, the revolutionary court also sentenced an additional year in prison to activist and Nobel-laureate Narges Mohammadi for "spreading propaganda against the Islamic republic while behind bars," The statement reads, "The revolutionary court sentenced Narges Mohammadi to endure 15 months in prison, two years of exile outside Tehran and neighbouring provinces, a two-year travel ban, a two-year ban on membership in social-political groups, and a two-year ban on using a smartphone."


Activists and human rights organisations say that Iran is taking an increasingly harsh stance against those who continue to refuse to comply with the stringent laws, which require all women to cover their heads and hair when in public. Protests and rallies against the dress code laws, arrests, and rampant capital punishments. 




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