TEHRAN – Iran on Monday held the first trial session for one of the two detained female journalists who reported on Mahsa Amini’s death in custody last year, her lawyer said.
Months of nationwide protests erupted after Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd, died on September 16 following her arrest for allegedly violating the country’s strict dress code for women.
The journalists, Niloufar Hamedi, 30, and Elaheh Mohammadi, 36, could face the death penalty after they were detained for covering Amini’s death and its aftermath.
The pair are being tried separately by the revolutionary courts behind closed doors in Tehran.
Mohammadi’s trial began on Monday and Hamedi’s is scheduled to start the following day, according to judiciary spokesman Massoud Setayeshi.
Mohammadi’s lawyer, Shahab Mirlohi, described the session as “good and positive,” telling AFP that the next court date would be confirmed later.
Mohammadi, a journalist at reformist publication Ham Miham, was taken into custody on September 29 after she traveled to Amini’s hometown of Saqez in Kurdistan province to report on her funeral ceremony which turned into a protest.
Hamedi, who works at another reformist paper, Shargh, was detained on September 20 after reporting from the hospital where Amini had spent three days in a coma before her death.
The two women were charged on November 8 with propaganda against the state and conspiring against national security, offenses that potentially carry the death penalty.
During last year’s protests, which Tehran had labeled foreign-incited “riots,” thousands were arrested and hundreds killed, including dozens of security personnel.