April 11, 2011
The journalist, who suffers from chronic migraine and gastric complications, is being subjected to severe pressure in prison.
Mahmoodi was arrested on March 1, and his condition is deteriorating because he needs to follow a restrictive diet and medication regime. He has been denied any family visits, speaking to them only by phone.
Mahmoodi is held in the quarantine section of Evin Prison and fears a harsh sentence.
The charges against him are propaganda against the regime and insulting the leader, as well as writing the song “I Confess…” and possessing a copy of Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses.
Mahmoodi has told his interrogators he acquired the controversial novel because he planned to publish a special article on the anniversary of the death sentence issued by Ayatollah Khomeini against Rushdie.
Mahmoodi was arrested for more than a month during the protests that followed the disputed re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and was released on a $300,000 bail.
Scores of journalists were arrested during that time, and many still remain behind bars.
Reporters Without Borders reported that in 2010 Iran experienced the world’s largest exodus of journalists, with 30 of them in exile.