Photo credits: RadioFreeEurope
In February of 2023, when the Iranian government released some prisoners to appease the Woman, Life, Freedom protests that have entered into their sixth month, sociologist and journalist Saeed Madani was not one of them. The Islamic Revolutionary Court of Tehran found the sociologist Madani guilty of “propaganda” and forming anti-regime groups in December 2022, and sentenced him to nine years in the infamous Evin prison.
Madani is a senior researcher and faculty member at Tehran University and has conducted research on numerous social issues of Iranian society, including civil society, social movements, social welfare, violence against women, and child abuse. In addition to banning many of his books, the Islamic Republic officials have also prevented him from holding a permanent position at academic institutions. After serving four years of a six-year sentence in Evin prison, in 2016, he was exiled to the city of Bandar Abbas. Later, in early 2022, soon before his arrest in May, he was barred from leaving the country to take up a research fellowship at Yale University.
While suppressing his research and restraining his fundamental rights and freedoms, the Iranian government recognizes the importance of Madani’s work. Since the beginning of the protests in September, he was consulted by the government, on three separate occasions, while detained in Evin prison, on how to stop the ongoing protests. Madani advocated for the rights of the protestors and advised government officials to give into the popular demands and cease the violent suppression of the protestors.
Endangered Scholars Worldwide joins the Middle East Studies Association in in demanding the immediate release of Saeed Madani, and all other protestors, who have been arrested for defending their basic rights and expressing their views. ESW continues to condemn the detention, mistreatment, and killing of protestors in the wake of Mahsa Amini’s death and the Women, Life, Freedom marches. We at the ESW stand in solidarity with those in Iran, who for decades have been living under systematic discrimination, abuse, and oppression of the Islamic Republic and we call upon all international organizations, academic and professional associations, and other groups and individuals devoted to the promotion and defense of human rights and the rule of law to condemn the inhumane actions of the Islamic Republic of Iran.