Iranian Journalist Rahimi Facing New Charges After Commenting On Teen's Death

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Court has charged journalist Zeinab Rahimi of “spreading lies and violating public decency” after she commented on the death of 17-year-old Armita Garavand, who died last month after a confrontation with morality police.

Rahimi said in a social media post on November 12 that she and her lawyer attended a hearing on her case and that she was free on bail as she awaits a verdict.

The specifics of the charges against Rahimi were not specified, but she was previously summoned to court on similar charges along with economic journalist Maryam Shokrani.

Rahimi is the fifth journalist to face legal action after commenting on the death of Garavand, highlighting government's crackdown on dissenting voices in the media and its concern that the teen's death may spark unrest similar to the September 2022 death of Mahsa Amini.

Meanwhile, economic journalist Saeedeh Shafiei was summoned to serve a three-year and six-month prison sentence she received in July for alleged propaganda against the system as well as "gathering information and collusion against the system." She had been ordered to report to prison by November 14.

Another journalist, Nasim Sultanbegi, received a similar sentence in the same case.

The harsh punishments handed to journalists come amid unprecedented shows of defiance by women and schoolgirls in what appears to be the biggest threat to the Islamic government since the 1979 revolution.

Several thousand others have been arrested since the death of Amini, who died while in police custody for an alleged violation of the country's head scarf law, including many protesters, lawyers, activists, and digital-rights defenders.

Written by Ardeshir Tayebi based on an original story in Persian by RFE/RL's Radio Farda