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Iranian academic and author Said Madani arrested on national security charges

Professor of sociology has published several books on social issues in Iran, was sentenced to six years in prison in 2012

Illustrative: Evin Prison in Tehran, Iran. (CC BY-SA 2.0 Ehsan Iran/Wikipedia)
Illustrative: Evin Prison in Tehran, Iran. (CC BY-SA 2.0 Ehsan Iran/Wikipedia)

Iranian police have arrested academic and author Said Madani on charges of acting “against the security” of the country and of having ties to foreign states, the Mehr news agency reported Monday.

“Suspected of having links with foreign countries and of having committed actions against the country’s security, Said Madani Ghahfarokhi was sent to prison,” the report said.

Madani, 61, a professor of sociology at Allameh Tabatabai University in Tehran, has published several books on social issues in Iran, including prostitution, violence against women, child abuse, poverty, and drug addiction.

Madani has been detained several times in the past, notably in 2012 when he was sentenced to six years in prison.

Separately on Monday, Iran indicated it could postpone the death sentence expected later this month against Iranian-Swedish academic Ahmedreza Djalali, according to a statement issued by the foreign ministry.

ISNA news agency had reported earlier this month that Djalali would be executed by May 21, after he was sentenced to death in 2017, over espionage for Israel.

Despite the postponement, foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh reiterated to reporters that “Mr. Djalali’s sentence is definite, as the judiciary had announced.”

Last month, a court in Iran sentenced two students to 16-year prison terms each on charges of endangering national security.

The court argued that the two sabotaged public facilities, tried to cooperate with opposition groups, and spread propaganda against the system.

Their arrest prompted an outcry among students and teachers of the prestigious Sharif Industrial University, where they studied, as well as by Amnesty International and various rights groups.

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