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Twitter punishes, Iran arrests journalist who first reported ‘bad-Hijab’ woman’s death

Twitter suspended Niloofar Hamedi’s account after the Iranian authorities arrested and seized her belongings on September 22, 2022. Read More

Friday September 30, 2022 11:13 AM, ummid.com with inputs from Agencies

Twitter suspends, Iran arrests journalist who broke ‘bad-Hijab’ woman’s death

Washington/Tehran: Social media giant Twitter has suspended the account of Niloofar Hamedi, the Iranian Journalist who had broken the tragic story of Mahsa Amini who died reportedly due to torture in police custody.

Mahsa Amini, 22-year-old Kurdish woman, was arrested by moral police of Iran for what they alleged improperly wearing Hijab – headscarf Muslim women wear across the world.

Niloofar Hamedi had got the access to Kasra Hospital in Tehran where Mahsi Amini was being treated following her detention. She later posted on Twitter account the parents of Mahsi Amini crying in the hospital. She later shared with the world the shocking news that Amini succumbed to her injuries.

Her Twitter account used for breaking the story that shocked the world and resulted in global and local outrage has now been suspended.

“@NiloofarHamedi. Account suspended. Twitter suspends accounts that violate the Twitter Rules”, the social media platform says in a single line message, without explaining how and when the Iranian journalist violated its policies.

Twitter keeps mum

Twitter refused to response to the media query on why it suspended the Iranian journalist’s account.

Twitter suspended Niloofar Hamedi’s account after the Iranian authorities arrested and seized her belongings on September 22, 2022.

"This morning, security agents raided the house of my client Niloofar Hamedi, journalist of Shargh newspaper, arrested her, searched her house and confiscated her belongings," wrote her lawyer Mohammad Ali Kamfirouzi on Twitter.

The Iranian daily Shargh is known for its reformist views.


Hamedi's detention has also been confirmed by Iranian American author and Human rights activist, Dr. Nina Ansary.

"Iranian journalist Niloofar Hamedi who was the first to publish news about the death of 22 yr old Mahsa Amini after being beaten by the “morality police”has been arrested by authorities in Iran and her @Twitter account suspended", she wrote on Twitter.

Hamedi's lawyer Kamfirouzi further said that his client is being held in solitary confinement in Tehran’s Evin prison, where she has been interrogated. She has not been told of any other charges against her.

'Journalism in Iran'

Following the violent protest that erupted in the country after Mehsa Amini’s death in police custody, Iran has arrested 19 journalists besides Hamedi, according to Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

For Hamedi's colleagues, working at a reformist newspaper which has been a thorn in the side of the conservatives who are currently in power in Iran, life as a journalist has become a daily worry.

"Journalism in Iran is not a job. It is a potential crime from the point of view of security institutions," one of her colleagues said on the condition of anonymity.

"As a result, as I am talking to you right now, I am worried that these conversations will be overheard”, she has been quoted by Middle East Eye in a report.

Protesters rule many Iranian cities

The widespread protests that started soon after Amini’s brutal death was reported in the media continue to cease even after two weeks.

Local media have said that 41 people, including security personnel, have been killed and that more than 1,200 have been arrested.

One human rights group has said at least 76 protesters have been killed by security forces, whom it has accused of using disproportionate force and live ammunition to suppress peaceful dissent.
Fresh unrest was reported on Wednesday night amid a mounting death toll, according to BBC.

Iran Protest 2022

Mahsa Amini, the Kurdish woman from the north-western city of Saqez, was visiting in Tehran on September 13, 2022 when morality police accused her of violating the strict law requiring women to cover their hair with a hijab, or headscarf. The first protest took place after her funeral in Saqez on 17 September, when women were filmed waving their headscarves in the air.

Similar demonstrations were staged elsewhere in the Kurdish-populated north-west and in Tehran, before the unrest reached dozens of other cities and evolved into the most serious challenge to the establishment in years.

Videos have shown women burning their headscarves and cutting their hair in public to chants of "Women, life, freedom" and "Death to the dictator" - a reference to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Ebrahim Raisi warns protesters

Ebrahim Raisi, the Iranian president, Thursday warned that he will not accept "chaos", as authorities continue to crack down on protests that have swept across the country since the death in custody of Amini.

Iran Protest

Raisi said Mahsa Amini's death two weeks ago, after she was detained by morality police, had "saddened all".

But he added that his government "[could] not allow people to disturb the peace of society through riots", BBC reported.

Angelina Jolie lends her support for Iranian women

Lending her support to the Iranian women, Hollywood star Angelina Jolie wants the world to divert its attention to what's happening in Iran currently.

The Academy Award winner shared several images taken in the streets of Iran to Instagram, raising awareness about the ongoing situation in the Middle East.

"Respect to the brave, defiant, fearless women of Iran," Jolie wrote in the caption of her post.

"All those who have survived and resisted for decades, those taking to the streets today, and Mahsa Amini and all young Iranians like her."

"Women don't need their morals policed, their minds re-educated, or their bodies controlled. They need freedom to live and breathe without violence or threats," Jolie, 47, continued.

"To the women of Iran, we see you #WomanLifeFreedom #MahsaAmini."

In the post, Jolie also included a statement that briefly explained the conflict taking place in the country, "Protests in Iran are in their 12th consecutive night," the slide read. "They started in response to the death of 22 year old Mahsa Amini while in morality police custody (sic)."

"Since the protests began, riot police have attacked protestors with brutal force, and more than 70 people have reportedly been killed," it added.


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