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Sentencing of Two Female Journalists: Uncovering the U.S. Role in Mahsa Amini’s Tragic Death

There has been speculation recently surrounding the death of Iranian journalist Mahsa Amini, with claims that her death was the result of her alleged collaboration with the United States. Now, two female journalists who were reporting on her death have been sentenced by the Iranian government on charges of collaboration with the United States. The two journalists, both of whom worked for the independent news agency Radio Farda, were identified by the Iranian authorities as Neda Talaverdi and Iraj Hassani. They were sentenced to five years in prison each. Talaverdi was accused of spying, “antagonistic propagandizing”, and “insulting” Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, while Hassani was found guilty of collaborating with sections of the US government. The Radio Farda news agency is affiliated to the US-backed Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and part of the US government’s media operations. It broadcasts in Persian, targeting audiences in Iran with an emphasis on exposing human rights abuses and democratic values. The arrests and subsequent sentences come amidst a much broader context of increased suppression of journalists in Iran. This includes the jailing of at least 11 other journalists since the start of the year, according to human rights group Amnesty International. The recent sentences of Talaverdi and Hassani appear to be a part of an effort to further silence and silence the likes of independent, pro-democracy activists and journalists in Iran. Amnesty International has called for the immediate and unconditional release of the two journalists, and for the Iranian authorities to immediately cease its increasing targeting of journalists. Despite the continued censorship, independent outlets such as Radio Farda will continue to promote democracy and freedom of expression, ensuring the voices of those suffering from human rights abuses in Iran are never silenced.