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International Federation of Journalists Defends Iranian Whistle Blower Reporter

IRAN -- Journalist Mohammad Mosaed

Deploring the Iranian government's "cruel" approach towards journalists, the Secretary-General of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Anthony Bellanger, has condemned the verdict given to the Iranian whistle-blower journalist Mohammad Mosaed.

An economic journalist, Mosaed has been arrested twice in the past year for his reports on financial corruption and the anti-regime protests in November 2019 that rocked more than 100 cities across Iran. An Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran recently sentenced Mosaed to four years and nine months in prison.

In addition to his imprisonment, Mosaed says the court also confiscated his communication equipment and banned him from contributing to media for two years after completing his jail term.

Meanwhile, the IFJ has also condemned the sentencing of Nima Saffar, Marzieh Amiri, and Keyvan Samimi.

Nima Saffar, a poet and writer, has been sentenced to eight months in prison on charges of "propaganda against the regime on cyberspace."

Marzieh Amiri, a reporter for the pro-reform daily Sharq, was arrested in May 2019 for covering a workers' rally on International Workers' Day in Tehran, and an Islamic Revolutionary Court sentenced her to ten and a half years in jail and 148 lashes.

Keyvan Samimi, a 72-year-old journalist and editor-in-chief of the Iran Farda periodical was sentenced to three years in prison on July 27 on charges of "conspiracy to act against national security."

Since 2009, the Iranian government has shut down dozens of media organizations that are perceived as critical of the government and Iran's regime, forcing hundreds of independent journalists out of work.

Social media platforms, particularly Telegram, have become the only resort for the Iranian journalists to publish their work and express their views, IFJ said in a statement, adding, "However, even this platform has been targeted and limited by the regime, and sometimes journalists have been sentenced and prosecuted for publishing on it."

According to Bellanger, "This is yet another example of how the Iranian government uses the legal system to clamp down unwelcome voices in the country. Mohammad Mosaed did not commit any crime but only did his job as a journalist. We call on the Iranian authorities to stop their outrageous strategy to silence journalists and immediately release Mosaed and all other imprisoned journalists."