Mahsa Amini: Iranian journalists jailed over coverage of protests sparked by death of woman in police custody

Two journalists have been jailed for their coverage of protests sparked by the death of a woman in Iran last year, Iranian state media has reported. 

Mahsa Amini, 22 died while in police custody after she was alleged to have violated the strict Islamic dress code, with her death causing months of mass demonstrations in Iran and across the world.

Niloofar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi have been sentenced to 13 and 12 years in prison respectively for charges including collaboration with the US government, and acting against national security.

Lawyers for the two journalists have rejected the charges.

"They received seven years and six years each respectively for collaborating with the hostile US government. Then each five years in prison for acting against the national security and each one year in prison for propaganda against the system," the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported.

Why they were detained

Hamedi was detained after she took a picture of Amini's parents hugging each other outside a hospital in Tehran, where their daughter lay in a coma.

Mohammedi was taken into custody after she covered Amini's funeral in her Kurdish hometown of Saqez.

A statement released by Iran's intelligence ministry last year accused them of being agents for the CIA.

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The pair have both been held at Iran's notorious Evin jail, where most political prisoners are detained.

According to the judiciary's Mizan news agency, the time they have already spent behind bars will be deducted from their sentences.