LONDON: Iran-based journalist Elnaz Mohammadi was detained on Sunday at the Evin prosecutor’s office in Tehran while her sister, journalist Elaheh Mohammadi, also remains in custody following her coverage of Mahsa Amini’s death.
Elnaz, head of the social issues desk at the state-run reformist Hammihan newspaper, was summoned by the local authorities “for an explanation,” Shargh daily reported.
Elnaz is the twin sister of Elaheh, who was arrested in Sep. 2022 for reporting on the Sep. 16 incident involving Iran’s morality police, which sparked country-wide protests.
Elaheh, alongside journalist Nilufar Hamedi, has been behind bars since Sep. 29 for “conspiracy to commit a crime against national security and propaganda against the establishment,” according to Iran International.
Elaheh and Hamedi face the death penalty if charged and convicted of espionage.
Like her sister, Elnaz covered the fallout from Amini’s death in her work at Hammihan.
The Committee to Protect Journalists demanded on Monday that Iranian authorities drop any charges against Elnaz and release her immediately and unconditionally.
It could not be immediately verified where Elnaz was held or whether any charges have been filed against her, CPJ wrote in a statement.
“Iranian authorities must immediately release Elnaz Mohammadi, her sister Elaheh, and all other journalists arrested over their coverage of Mahsa Amini’s death and the ensuing protests,” said Sherif Mansour, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator.
“Authorities must let members of the press do their work without fear that they will be summoned and detained,” he added.
The Iranian judiciary has recently expedited the process to sentence — or free on bail — journalists and protesters, sending journalist Hossein Yazidi, who was arrested on Dec. 5, 2022, to prison for a year as well as imposing on him a two-year travel ban, as per Shargh newspaper.