TRT World: Mohammad Mosaed, an award-winning journalist whose work, including his reporting on the coronavirus, led Iran to sentence him to nearly five years in prison, won’t be deported.

Iranian journalist Mohammad Mosaed, who entered Turkey, won’t be deported, Turkish security sources told Middle East Eye on Monday.

Mosaed applied for international protection in Turkey after taking an illegal smuggling route from Iran at the eastern border city of Van, the report said. Turkish sources say he will be kept in a deportation centre until his application is resolved.

An investigative business journalist, Mosaed was reportedly about to freeze to death when he contacted the emergency services to ask for help. This led Turkish police to detain him after his treatment in a state hospital.

“We simply won’t deport him, because there is capital punishment in Iran and he is a journalist, not a mobster,” MEE quoted the Turkish security force saying.

Turkey’s decision came after press freedom watchdog the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) released a statement warning that Mosaed may face persecution if he’s deported to Iran, and invited the Turkish authorities to “consider any request for political asylum that Mosaed may make.”

Mosaed’s work, including his reports criticising the government's response to the spread of the coronavirus led the Iranian government to press charges against him, while his work earned him a Freedom of Speech Award by Deutsche Welle. He previously spent two weeks in prison for posting a critical tweet using 42 different proxy servers to access the internet during an Internet shutdown.