The trial of lawyer Golaleh Vatandoust and journalist Zhina Modares Gorji has taken place over the past two days at Branch One of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Sanandaj, Kurdistan Province.

Yesterday, Vatandoust appeared before Judge Saeidi on charges of “propaganda against the state on cyberspace”, “formation, management, or membership of a group or organisation with the intent to disrupt national security”, and “membership in anti-state groups”.

Today, Modares Gorji stood trial at the same court, facing charges of “formation of an illegal group with the aim of overthrowing the state” and “membership in domestic groups with the intention to disrupt national security and propaganda against the state”.

During the session, Modares Gorji and her legal representatives presented their defence against the allegations.

Vatandoust was arrested by security forces in Sanandaj during the Woman, Life, Freedom protests on 3 October 2022.

She was temporarily released on 19 October 2022 on bail of 10 billion rials – nearly 20,000 USD –.

Modares Gorji was arrested twice during the protests. Her first arrest took place on 21 September 2022, and the second on 10 April 2023, both in Sanandaj.

She was released on bail 40 days after her first arrest and 84 days after her second arrest.