Saharkhiz has gone on hunger strike several times since Revolutionary Guards agents arrested him in November 2015. They arrested fellow journalists Ehsan Mazandarani, Afarin Chitsaz, and Saman Safarzaei and the brother of a journalist, Davoud Asadi, a day later. All were accused of being part of an “infiltration network.”
A court found Saharkhiz guilty of "insulting Iranian officials" and "propaganda against the regime" on August 9, 2016. He has 100 days of his sentence left to serve.
In October 2016, Saharkhiz’s son Mehdi Saharkhiz said he held the supreme leader responsible for his father’s deteriorating health as a result of his repeated hunger strikes. He says his father has not insulted anyone and should be freed.
Saharkhiz also served time in prison following the 2009 presidential election and the protests that followed.