FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Iran Seizes Academic For Criticism Of Food Shortages

Story By:  Ana MarjanovicSub-EditorMichael Leidig, Agency:  Newsflash

A prominent Iranian sociologist and author has been arrested for shaming the hardline Islamic regime with public comments on protests over food shortages.

Saeed Madani was detained hours after talking to IranWire about the protests taking place in the country over shortages and surging prices.

Local media report that officials claim the faculty member at Tehran University was arrested over the weekend for “acting against national security” and having “suspicious foreign connections”.

Saeed Madani (pictured), a prominent Iranian sociologist, author and faculty member at Tehran University, who was prevented from leaving country to conduct research at Yale, has been arrested by the authorities right after speaking about the ongoing protests over food shortages in the country. (Newsflash)

He is also accused of collaborating with “known foreign elements” in Iran.

The sociologist’s arrest came at a time when the country is rocked by ongoing protests over food shortages.

The Islamic Republic is cracking down hard on protesters and prominent members of society who comment publicly on the ongoing unrest.

Saeed Madani (pictured), a prominent Iranian sociologist, author and faculty member at Tehran University, who was prevented from leaving country to conduct research at Yale, has been arrested by the authorities right after speaking about the ongoing protests over food shortages in the country. (Newsflash)

The Iranian authorities have reportedly arrested a number of filmmakers for documenting the civil strife.

Madani told IranWire: “They [protests] pose a serious challenge to the regime.”

He also said that the protests are a culmination of over 20 years’ of discontent, stating: “If earlier the protests were against one administration, they are now against the whole political system.”

Saeed Madani (pictured), a prominent Iranian sociologist, author and faculty member at Tehran University, who was prevented from leaving country to conduct research at Yale, has been arrested by the authorities right after speaking about the ongoing protests over food shortages in the country. (Newsflash)

On 17th May, his lawyer Mustafa Nili claimed that the sociologist is being held in solitary confinement at the notorious Evin Prison on “baseless” charges.

Nili claimed he was detained during a raid on his home and that the order came from the Ministry of Intelligence and Branch 2 of the Evin Security Court.

Earlier this year, Madani – who has written several books on the social problems in Iran, such as addiction and violence against children – was prevented from starting a one-year research programme at Yale University in the US following criticism of the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.