Veteran Iranian political activist Ahmad Haj Seyed Javadi, who co-founded the Freedom Movement, a nationalist-religious organization, has died at the age of 96 in Tehran.
Haj Seyed Javadi, who pursued graduate studies in law and politics in France, entered politics during the struggle to nationalize oil and became one of the main founders of the Freedom Movement in 1961.
Before the Revolution, Haj Seyd Javadi took on the defence of many prominent political activists, such as Ali Shariati, Ayatollah Montazeri and Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran’s current Supreme Leader, and after the 1979 Revolution he defended the two leaders of the Freedom Movement, Mehdi Bazargan and Ebrahim Yazdi.
During the Revolution, he was a member of the Council of the Revolution and also served in the interior and justice ministries.
He was involved in the drafting of the Islamic Republic constitution and later handed in his resignation together with Mehdi Bazargan.
He was elected as the representative for Qazvin in the first Parliament after the Revolution. As an MP, he was a persistent critic of the arrest of opposition forces in the 80s and he was arrested and tortured in 1985.
A year later, he was endorsed by the Freedom Movement party to run in the presidential election, but the Guardian Council did not approve his candidacy.
As a member of the Council of the Revolution, he later apologized in an open letter to the people of Iran for the events of the past three decades after the Revolution.
He was arrested once more in 2001 at the age of 84 by the intelligence department of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps.
The veteran political figure was overtly critical of the crackdown on protesters after the controversial presidential election of 2009 and issued an open letter and several announcements denouncing the government’s treatment of the protesters on several occasions.
In 2009, he was given the Golden Pen award by the Society for the Defence of Free Press.