He has adopted a second surname, Bani-Torof, to indicate his roots from the "Bani Torof" (in Arabic meaning "Children of Torof") Arab tribe. On April 25, 2005 he was arrested at his home by security forces in connection with the Arab youth unrest in Khuzestan earlier that month and held at Evin Prison with other Iranian journalists and dissidents. He was released on June 28, 2005.
In August 2008 he was sentenced to five years in prison.
While appealing the decision, he left Iran and gained political asylum in United Kingdom.