Journalist and Women's Rights Activist, Zhina Modares Gorji, Sentenced to 21 Years in Prison

25 May 2024 21:04

Hengaw; Saturday, May 25, 2024

Zhina Modares Gorji, a prominent Kurdish journalist and women's rights activist from Sanandaj, who was also arrested during the "Woman, Life, Freedom" movement, has been sentenced to 21 years in prison and exile to Hamedan Central Prison by the Iranian judiciary.

According to a report received by the Hengaw Organization for Human Rights, Zhina Modares Gorji, a journalist and women's rights activist, was recently sentenced by Branch 1 of the Sanandaj Revolutionary Court, presided over by Judge Karami, to 10 years in prison for "forming illegal group with the aim of overthrowing the government," 10 years for "collaborating with hostile groups and governments," and 1 year for "propaganda against the government."

The final hearing for the Kurdish activist's charges was held on April 10th of this year, and the verdict was officially served to her on Thursday, May 23rd.

With the application of the law of aggregation of sentences, of the total 21-year sentence, the most severe punishment, which is 10 years of imprisonment along with exile to Hamedan prison, is enforceable. Ms. Modares Gorji's lawyers have officially registered their objection to this heavy sentence, and the case will be sent to the provincial court of appeals for review.

According to the verdict, the examples of charges brought against Zhina Modares Gorji include "establishing the Zhivano association with a feminist ideology and with the aim of overthrowing ,” "purposeful participation in gatherings and expressing structure-breaking slogans," "communication with anti-revolution elements," "participation in international conferences and workshops," "publishing content on social media and conducting interviews with media outside the country to portray a negative image of the country's situation and create tension in society during the sensitive period after Jina Amini's death."

The Islamic Revolutionary Court also declared the Criminal Court responsible for investigating the charge of "spreading falsehoods and inciting people to violent acts" and sent the case to the 2nd Criminal Court of Sanandaj.

It is worth noting that the basis of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in attributing the aforementioned charges and recognizing Ms. Modares Gorji as a criminal was the reports of the Ministry of Intelligence. This court also considered the execution of the prison sentence for this women's rights activist in Sanandaj prison, due to the "possibility of destructive security activities," as an example of "security corruption" and, based on Article 513 of the Criminal Procedure Code, sentenced her to serve her sentence in Hamedan prison.

Zhina Modares Gorji was transferred to the general ward on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, after spending a month in solitary confinement in the Sanandaj Correctional and Rehabilitation Center. She was abducted by government forces on Monday, April 10, 2023, while returning home from work by the Intelligence Department forces. She was temporarily released on July 3rd of the same year after 84 days of detention with a heavy bail of five billion tomans.

This women's rights activist was also arrested by the Intelligence Department forces in Sanandaj on Friday, September 21, 2022, during the "Women, Life, Freedom" movement. Following 40 days of detention in the women's ward of Sanandaj prison, she was temporarily released on October 30th of the same year with a bail of 100 million tomans until the end of the legal proceedings.

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