Journalist Siamak Pourzand (pictured, via) has reportedly committed suicide after enduring years of house arrest in Tehran. He was 80-years-old.

Pourzand built his career over the past fifty years, criticizing the Iranian government regime in his work. He managed a cultural center for writers, artists, and intellectuals called “Majmue-ye Farrhangi-ye Honari-ye Tehran.” The PEN American Center inducted him as an honorary member.

PEN American Center president Kwame Anthony Appiah had this statement: “At a time when men and women are finding their voices and crying out for dignity and basic rights throughout the region, Pourzand’s despair offers a disturbing measure of how arrested and isolated the Iranian regime now seems.”