Iran sentences influential professor to 8 years behind bars

TEHRAN, Iran — An Iranian court has sentenced influential sociology professor Saeed Madani Ghahfarokhi to eight years in prison, his lawyer tells AFP today.

Madani, 62, who has published books on topics including prostitution, violence against women, child abuse and drug addiction in Iran, has been in detention since May last year.

“My client was sentenced to eight years in prison for forming a hostile group and one year for propaganda against the system,” says his lawyer, Mahmoud Behzadirad, adding the verdict is final.

Madani, a professor at Tehran’s Allameh Tabatabai University, had previously been arrested several times and served a six-year prison sentence from 2011.

Iran has been rocked by a wave of protests since mid-September, sparked by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, 22, who had been accused of breaching the Islamic Republic’s dress code for women.

“Since my client has been in prison, he has been consulted by some officials to find ways to deal with the violence” that broke out at the protests, says Behzadirad.

Early this month, Madani published from prison an analysis of the protest movement in which he wrote that it spelled a “vision of the future Iran.”

The Islamic Republic has recently released dozens of personalities, including many detained over the protests, under a partial amnesty granted by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

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