Sarjoui was initially arrested in July 2011 and sentenced by a Revolutionary Court in Tehran to 10 years in prison on charges of “cooperating with enemy states,” according to the reformist news site Kaleme. He was detained for 10 months and freed on bail in May 2012, the reports said. In August 2012, an appeals court reduced his sentence to three years in prison and seven years’ suspended imprisonment. He was summoned to begin serving his term in November 2012, news reports said.
Sarjoui covered international news for the English-language daily Iran News and other publications. He had previously worked in the international relations department of the government’s Strategic Research Center, according to the U.S. government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Staff members for the research agency had access to politically sensitive material, which placed them under intense scrutiny by government security agents.
The journalist is being held at Evin Prison.
In December 2013, Sarjoui’s wife told the opposition news website JARAS that authorities had not granted their family’s repeated requests for the journalist’s release or furlough.