Iranian journalist Nasrin Hassani begins 7-month prison sentence
Washington, D.C., February 6, 2024—Iranian authorities must release journalist Nasrin Hassani from prison immediately and cease jailing members of the press for doing their jobs by reporting on events of public interest, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Tuesday.
On Sunday, Hassani, a reporter for the state-run local newspaper Etefaghyeh, and editor-in-chief of the social media-based outlet East Adventure Press, responded to a summons to appear before Branch 2 of the Bojnourd Revolutionary Court in the northeastern city of Bojnourd. She was arrested and taken to the city’s central prison to serve a seven-month sentence for “false news” that was issued in November 2023, according to multiple news reports.
Hassani was initially arrested in September 2022 for her coverage of protests sparked by the death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, after morality police arrested her for allegedly violating the country’s conservative dress law. Authorities arrested dozens of journalists in Iran as the protests spread across the country. Hassani was later released on bail.
“Iranian authorities must immediately release journalist Nasrin Hassani and ensure that she does not face any further retaliation over her work,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour. “All of the journalists arrested for reporting on the unprecedented nationwide protests that followed Mahsa Amini’s death should be released and charges against them dropped.”
In December 2023, Hassani was also sentenced to one year in prison for “spreading propaganda against the system” by Branch 1 of Bojnourd Revolutionary Court but she appealed the verdict and is awaiting the court’s final decision, those sources said.
CPJ emailed Iran’s mission to the United Nations for comment on the cases against Hassani but received no response.