Zeid-Abadi, who wrote a weekly column for Rooz Online, a Farsi- and English-language reformist news website, was arrested in Tehran, according to news reports. Zeid-Abadi had also been a supporter of the defeated 2009 presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi and had served as director of the politically active Organization of University Alumni of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
On November 23, 2009, Zeid-Abadi was sentenced to six years in prison, five years of internal exile in Khorasan province, and a “lifetime deprivation of any political activity” including “interviews, speeches, and analysis of events, whether in written or oral form,” according to the Persian service of the German public news organization Deutsche Welle. An appeals court upheld the sentence on January 2, according to Advar News.
In February 2010, Zeid-Abadi and fellow journalist Massoud Bastani were transferred to Rajaee Shahr Prison. Zaid-Abadi’s wife, Mahdieh Mohammadi, said conditions there were crowded and unsanitary, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reported. She said she feared malnutrition and the spread of disease.
In 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014, Zeid-Abadi was granted short furloughs after posting bail, according to news websites. He was awarded the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize in 2011 and the World Association of Newspapers’ Golden Pen of Freedom Award in 2010.