Security forces arrested Lotfi, a blogger and clergyman, on a warrant issued by the Clergy Court in Qom. Authorities accused him of publishing the views of Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, the deceased cleric who had criticized then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s positions, but did not specify any articles or publications in which the views were supposedly cited.
In November 2009, Lotfi was convicted of several charges, including spreading anti-state information, and sentenced to four years in prison followed by a period of exile, according to news reports.
In July 2010, the Human Rights House of Iran reported that Lotfi had been transferred to a remote village, Ashtian, for 10 years of enforced internal exile. Lotfi, an Iran-Iraq War veteran who was exposed to chemical agents, suffers from a respiratory illness that has worsened during his confinement, the reformist news website Norooz News reported.
Lotfi was still confined to Ashtian in late 2014, according to exiled journalists who spoke to CPJ.