IWMF Statement on Release of Iranian Journalists Niloofar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi

The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) is relieved that Niloofar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi have been released on bail after 17 months of wrongful detention for their reporting on protests following Mahsa Amini’s death. Arrested in September 2022, Hamedi and Mohammadi were sentenced to 13 and 12 years in jail, respectively, on charges of spreading propaganda, committing a crime against national security, and collaborating with a foreign state.

Despite their release, Hamedi and Mohammadi’s fight is far from over. In addition to their remaining sentences, both women were immediately charged for not wearing hijabs while celebrating their release. This callous charge demonstrates Iranian authorities’ determination to silence women’s voices and persecute independent journalism, no matter the cost.

Iran continues to be one of the harshest environments for press freedom, ranking 177 out of 180 countries on the RSF Press Freedom Index and currently detaining 21 journalists. As the country’s elections approach later this year, the global human rights community must hold Iran accountable to allowing journalists to work without fear of retribution, jail, or death.

We urge authorities to drop all charges against Hamedi and Mohammadi and demand their unconditional freedom.