Until the day she took a picture of Mahsa Amini’s parents holding hands at a hospital in Tehran where their daughter was receiving treatment for a coma, Niloofar Hamedi, an Iranian journalist specialising in women’s rights, was able to publish horrifying stories without being discovered for years.
The image, which Hamedi posted on Twitter on September 16, served as the first hint to the public that there was a problem with 22-year-old Amini, who had been detained three days earlier for wearing what the Iranian morality police deemed to be an inappropriate outfit.
The death of Amini later that day would set off a wave of massive protests across Iran that, despite a government crackdown, were still continuing strong over three weeks later in different parts of the nation.
One of Hamedi’s final tweets before being detained a few days later and having her Twitter account suspended was an image of Amini’s parents. Hamedi worked for the daily Sharq, which supported reform.
Amini’s visit from Hamedi
Hamedi was able to visit Amini in the Tehran hospital on September 16 after Gasht-e Ershad had imprisoned him there for medical treatment. The officials’ claim that the Kurdish woman had a sudden heart attack was disputed by the woman’s parents.
Hamedi shared a picture of the parents crying in the hospital when Amini was receiving coma treatment. It was clear from this that the young woman had issues. Later that day, Amini passed away. Her passing provoked significant protests in Iran, which are still ongoing today.
The attorney for Hamedi pursues the issue
Hamedi is being held in isolation at Iran’s Evin prison and has not been prosecuted, according to a letter from his lawyer.
One of the greatest threats to the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution, the authorities used force to put down the biggest show of public protest in years.
Security forces have killed at least 185 people, including 19 minors, injured hundreds, and jailed thousands more, claim rights organisations. According to accounts, more than 20 members of the security forces have perished, and the Iranian government says it will investigate claims of fatalities among civilians.
How did Hamedi get locked up?
Her detention follows the detention of Shargh daily reporter Nilufar Hamedi, who visited the hospital where Amini was receiving coma treatment and helped bring attention to the story throughout the world.
According to her husband, Hamedi is still in custody and is being held in Tehran’s Evin prison; she is not aware of the charges brought against her.
Rights groups accuse Iran of collecting up numerous critical journalists who are still within the country, concentrating on those who have covered the Amini issue in particular. Internet access is likewise severely restricted.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, at least 19 additional journalists had also been detained as of Monday (CPJ).
Being a journalist for a reformist publication that has been a thorn in the side of Iran’s ruling conservatives has become a daily worry for Hamedi’s coworkers.
Iran is still one of the most repressive nations in the world, ranking among the ten least free according to Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index.
Iran is a nation that unlawfully restricts journalistic freedom.
The 1986 press law, which was revised in 2000 and 2009 to take into account online publications, gives the government the authority to ensure that journalists don’t “endanger the Islamic Republic,” “offend the clergy and the Supreme Leader,” or “spread false information,” despite the fact that press freedom is guaranteed by Article 24 of the constitution.
When will the situation change? Will Hamidi regain her liberty? What matters most is whether Iranian women will be emancipated. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.