Reports say a revolutionary court in Tehran has sentenced Saeed Madani, a prominent political commentator and researcher, to nine years in prison.
Madani was arrested in May accused of “formation and management of anti-government groups”, “holding gathering and conspiring to commit crimes against the country’s security" and "propaganda against the Islamic Republic of Iran”.
Madani − whose research interests include poverty, drug addiction, child abuse, and prostitution − belongs to the banned Nationalist-Religious Alliance, a small non-violent religious opposition groups that favors political reform and welfare economics.
He has been sentenced and imprisoned several times for membership in the group and for “propaganda against the state.” In 2016, he was exiled to the southern port city of Bandar Abbas after four years of an eight-year prison sentence served at Evin prison, Tehran.
Iran has arrested hundreds of university students, writers and cultural leaders during 100 days of anti-regime protests that began in September.
He has been associated with various opposition groups in Iran, and in response to his criticism of the government’s handling of the COVID pandemic, he was stopped by the IRGC in January this year from traveling from Tehran to take up a post at Yale University.
Madani, 61, a sociology professor at Tehran’s Allameh Tabatabai University, has published several books on social issues in Iran.