Hossein Ronaghi expresses concern for teacher Mahmoud Beheshti on hunger strike

 

I was held in the same ward as Mr. Mahmoud Beheshti Langaroudi, one of the most outstanding and honorable teachers in Iran. When I was on hunger strike he supported and comforted me. As my health plummeted and I was too weak to hold my body up or walk, he took care of me and helped me. I would see the worried look in his eyes as he gazed at me like a father in distress over my physical condition.

Mahmoud Beheshti has been on hunger strike for several weeks in demand of adherence to his legal rights. He also embarked on dry hunger strike days ago, meaning in addition to not eating solids, he no longer drinks any liquids. I am immensely worried for him like a son who knows well what hunger strike means, the same way he was worried for me like a father.

I will share my experience of what hunger strike does to you.

Starting a hunger strike is difficult. The fist few days are agonizing with hunger pains and you lose all your energy. A few days later your vision becomes blurry and when you touch your hair it falls out into your hands. You forget words and talking becomes difficult. Every day this condition worsens as pain encompasses your organs, lungs and kidneys, often leading to bleeding. You feel pressure on your rib cage and it becomes hard to breath. When night falls you have no sleep and when you close your eyes you ask yourself if they will ever open again. Every night you ponder if this might be your last night and wonder if you will wake up again. You are engulfed with fear, but a power from within keeps you going despite all the pain and danger.

Dry hunger strike is much harsher than wet hunger strike; your throat gets parched and no matter how much you try to get some moisture through your saliva, it is useless. Your skin dries up and gets creased. You feel yourself shrinking. Your bones hurt and feel wrinkled. Even your smiles have sadness. You feel like you are crying when you try to smile. With every deep breath you try to take you feel like your life is escaping. You don’t have the energy to speak. You try to think of sweet and bitter memories from your life but the images in your head are blurry and seem to have lost color. The saddest and hardest part of being on dry hunger strike is that you are moving towards death with open arms.

Hunger strike is difficult for the person doing it and it also causes immense stress to those who are witness to it. The heaviest burden falls on the closest confidant who observes a friend getting more debilitated with every passing day. The closest person is witness to the weight loss and depletion of energy as the body dangerously weakens.

I am very worried for an honorable teacher who is a righteous human being.

~ Hossein Ronaghi

 
با آقای محمود بهشتی لنگرودی از معلمان شریف و نیک ایران زمین هم بند بودم و تقریبا طی اعتصاب غذا هر لحظه که من مریض و ناخوش می شدم و نای راه رفتن هم نداشتم من را همراهی می کرد و من از نگاهش نگرانی را می خواندم و چون پدری دلسوز هر لحظه جویای حال من میشد و وضعیت جسمی من او را نگران می کرد.
او چند هفته است که اعتصاب غذا است و چند روز است که اعتصاب غذایش خشک است یعنی آب هم نمی خورد. خواسته اش اجرای قانون است و آنگونه که او در حق من پدری کرد و نگرانم بود همچون پسرش نگران حالش هستم و می دانم وقتی می گوید اعتصاب است یعنی چه! آنگونه که دیده ام می گویم اعتصاب غذا چه می کند:
شروع اعتصاب غذا سخت است، چند روز اول بشدت گشنگی آزارت می دهد و بی حس و حال می شوی. چند روز که می گذرد مثل قبل واضح نمی بینی و تاری دید پیدا میکنی، دست به موهایت که می کشی می بینی موهایت می ریزد، کلمات را فراموش می کنی و در گفتار نیز با مشکل مواجه می شوی، هر روز این وضعیت تشدید پیدا می کند. سنگینی روی قفسه سینه، تنگی نفس، درد کلیه و معده و… که در اکثر موارد با خونریزی همراه می شود امان تو را می برد. شب ها خواب نداری هر لحظه که چشمهایت را می بندی به خودت می گویی نکند آخرین بار باشد که به خواب بروم و خوابم همیشگی شود. کمی ترس وجود آدم را می گیرد اما نیروی درونی بسیار قوی با تمام این خطرها و دردها، تو را مصمم پیش می برد.
اعتصاب غذای تر و خشک هر کدام داستانی جدا دارند اما اعتصاب غذای خشک داستانش فرق می کند، لبان و دهانت خشک می شود، و هر چه تلاش می کنی کمی فقط کمی گلویت را با آب دهانت تر کنی بی فایده است. پوستت چروکیده و خشک می شود و هر لحظه حس می کنی جثه ات را با فشار کوچک می کنند. استخوان هایت انگار مچاله شده اند و درد می کنند. دیگر خنده ات هم غم دارد می خندی اما گویی لحظه لحظه اشک می ریزی، مدام نفس عمیق می کشی که آنگاه انگار جان از بدن آدمی خارج می شود. نای سخن گفتن هم نداری. تصاویری را تار در ذهنت مرور می کنی از خاطرات تلخ و شیرین زندگیت که انگار آنها هم رنگ باخته اند و سیاه و سفید شده اند. اعتصاب غذای خشک که می کنی یعنی با آغوش باز به سوی مرگ می روی و این تلخ ترین و غم انگیزترین داستان اعتصاب غذا است.

اعتصاب غذا در هر صورت رنج آور است هم برای کسی که اعتصاب می کند و هم برای او که ناظر وضعیت اعتصاب کننده است بخصوص کسی که در کنار شخص اعتصاب کننده است و هر روز او را می بیند. او را می بیند که بدنش و توانش تحلیل می رود، لاغر می شود و جانش را درخطر جدی قرار می دهد. من نگران معلمی شریف و پدری عزیز و بزرگوار هستم که اعتصاب غذا هست و می دانم که چه انسان شریف و درستی است و اندیشه ای جز منافع ملی و پیشرفت ایران ندارد. محمود بهشتی لنگرودی برای من فراموش شدنی نیست.

http://www.ronaghi.me/2016/05/freebeheshti.html

 


Hossein Ronaghi: Imprisonment is not the answer.

12417977_784437118366793_6794008122370710070_n.jpg

Oh January 19, 2016 Hossein Ronaghi presented himself at the Tehran Prosecutor’s Office per orders of the IRGC Intelligence Unit to be taken back into custody.
Before leaving he posted on his Facebook page:

I believe that the answer to any opinion is never imprisonment.

This is why I am returning to prison:

My not returning will result in confiscation of the collateral set for my bail, which is morally wrong and unprincipled. Seizing the collateral would be legal only if I was not reachable or my whereabouts were unknown in case of need for arrest. Despite the fact that I provided my address to judicial authorities for my arrest at their will, this did not happen and ultimately I was told per orders of the IRGC Intelligence unit I was to return to prison.

Also as my mother says, “This is our homeland and we are not the ones who must leave.”

Tomorrow I will go to the Prosecutor’s office, will be taken into custody and imprisoned. What is clear to me is that I will always be beside my family and my friends.

In hopes of bright and clear days.

https://goo.gl/S2PeSZ

حسین رونقی
باور دارم که پاسخ هیچ اندیشه ای زندان نیست برای همین به زندان می روم؛بازنگشتن من مساوی است با جلب وثیقه ها و این یعنی سلب اعتماد وثیقه گذارها و سقوط تعهد و اخلاق، اجرای وثیقه ها زمانی قانونی است که برای بازداشت، من در دسترسی نباشم و این اتفاق در حالی رخ داده است که به صورت مکتوب آدرس خود را به مقام های قضایی اعلام کرده بودم تا در صورت نیاز بازداشتم کنند اما این اتفاق نیافتاد و در نهایت از داستانی گفتند که اطلاعات سپاه می گوید باید حسین را به زندان بازگردانید. از آن هم که بگذریم به قول مادرم «اینجا سرزمین ماست آن کسی که باید این سرزمین را ترک کند ما نیستیم»؛ فردا می روم دادستانی و نهایتا بازداشت و زندان، آنچه برای من واضح است همیشه در کنار خانواده و دوستانم خواهم بود. به امید روزهای خوب و روشن

زبان سرخ و سبز… این چه غوغایی ست!
نصیب خون ِ به دیوارها تباهی شد!
برای حرف نگفته به حبس خواهی رفت
برای کار نکرده به بند خواهی شد!
“اشرف گیلانی”

 


Hossein Ronaghi: The issue is injustice and lawlessness

12079095_742066049270567_735153121159237293_nThe Prosecutor’s office has ordered the 1.4-billion toman bail with our home along with the homes of friends and neighbors as collateral to be seized.

What is adding further distress to my family and me is that according to the new laws, I have 4 more years of prison time therefore they can legally seize 400 mllion tomans (100 million per year) but in order to add torment, they intend to confiscate all the collateral properties which are worth more than 3 billion tomans.

Aside from all this, even assuming that I am guilty of the charges against me, if my sentencing had been made according to the Islamic Penal Code and the cyber crimes laws, I would have received 4 years maximum not 15 years in prison. So I have already spent 2 years more than what I should have in prison wasting my life and causing my health problems.

On the other hand, there are many legal means by which sending me back to prison can be avoided. Yet for six years my family and those around me have been subjected to hardship stemming from my imprisonment and probation. Even putting aside my health issues – which after five years the Prosecutor claims don’t exist according to the legal coroner’s office and that I am healthy – I don’t understand what the issue is when the Prosecutor’s office and IRGC units say this is not their concern?

I got in touch with the Prosecutor’s office and told them that because I object to their illegal actions I will not present myself to prison but they can come and arrest me. I assured them that I have no intention to run away or leave Iran and if they contact me I will present myself in front of the Prosecutor’s office or my father’s home where they can arrest me. However the consequences of whatever may happen to me in my poor physical condition or to my family will rest on the shoulders of the judiciary and IRGC intelligence units.

Going back to prison and tolerating more time behind bars is not the point. The issue is the lawlessness and injustice that is happening in the Islamic Republic when they do not adhere to their own laws.

This time I will stand until my death against these circumstances that I do not deserve.

http://www.ronaghi.me/2015/10/returntojail.html


Jailed labor activist Shahrokh Zamani suffered fatal stroke behind bars

COyqCsRUkAATK2ACommittee of Human Rights Reporters – Labor activist and political prisoner Shahrokh Zamani passed away in Rajai Shahr prison today after suffering a fatal stroke. The Kaleme website reports that the labor activist who was sentenced to eleven years in prison and jailed since 2011, died behind bars today.

According to CHRR, Shahrokh Zamani, labor activist was arrested on June 7, 2011, sentenced to 11 years in prison, transferred to various prisons before his last transfer to Rajai Shahr prison. He spent long periods of time in solitary confinement and was often banned from face-to-face visitations and phone calls.

Zamani was a member of the Council of Representatives of Labor Organizations and the Painters’ Union. His heavy sentence was handed down by Branch 1 of the Tabriz Revolutionary Court on the charges of “propaganda against the regime”, “endangering national security” and “participating in organization of an illegal group” by setting up a coordination committee to help with the creation of independent labor unions.

According to CHRR, one year after his arrest Zamani published a letter addressed to international human rights agencies, trade unions and all freedom loving people unveiling the torture and illegal treatment of prisoners behind bars.

In a letter to Amnesty International, Shahrokh Zamani stated that his lawyer was not given access to his court files or allowed to speak in court, and that his sentencing was pre-determined. He described how he had been kept in solitary confinement for 36 days and put under severe psychological and physical duress in an effort to extract a false confession, which he refused. He was transferred to the public ward after launching a hunger strike and endured 4 months of brutal interrogations before his court date. His hunger strike began in solidarity with members of the Dervishes (Sufi group) who had been imprisoned, and was later extended to the grim situation of all political prisoners. It was reported that he lost massive amounts of weight and suffered serious health problems as a result of his hunger strike. Amnesty declared Zamai a prisoner of conscience and published a statement saying “he is facing reprisals for demanding prisoners’ rights inside Raja’i Shahr Prison.”

In a letter on April 9, 2014 to Ahmed Shaheed, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran, Zamani wrote of the prisoners’ grievances and ill treatment. He wrote, “As a trade unionist, I have been arrested and imprisoned illegally and have been exiled to one of the worst prisons in Iran, which is comparable to the prisons of the middle ages.” He ended his letter saying, “Considering the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran are responsible for any mental and physical harm [that might come to me], I urge you to dispatch an inquiry commission and put pressure on the Islamic Republic to fulfill their obligations according to their own laws.” Representing the political prisoners of Ward 12 of Rajai Shahr prison, Zamani wrote, “[I am] trying to defend the rights of the prisoners, by objecting to those in charge about the closing of the only library of the prison, the increase in the spread of dangerous electrical noises, and the beating of prisoners. I asked the authorities to respect the prisoners’ rights in accordance with the internal bylaws of the prisons through a letter.”

In December 2014 Zamani wrote a letter from prison addressed to international labor organizations. In it he stated, “with no control from below by workers’ or people’s organizations and the banning of the slightest freedoms of speech, press and parties, the ruling class, ranked 144th out of 157 countries of the world for bribery, has increased the scale of open looting, embezzling and stealing of the national treasury to disastrous levels.” He described his illegal arrest for exercising his legal rights. “I have been condemned merely for legitimate and legal defense of the right to establish independent organizations, to strike – universal rights that are officially recognized throughout the world – and in defense of wages that match inflation, job security, unemployment and health insurance, pensions, and a labor law that guarantees the basic rights of the 50 million members of Iran’s workers’ households.”

On top of his heavy prison sentence Mr. Zamani was further harassed in the past years by being transferred to various prisons including Tabriz, Yazd, Ghazal Hesar and finally Rajai Shahr Prison. He was not allowed to attend his daughter’s wedding or his mother’s funeral. Before her death, in a February 2013 interview with CHRR, Zarin Najti, mother of Shahrokh Zamani disclosed that her son was denied medical furlough, prison visitation and phone calls. She shared that the family was suffering great stress from not being able to make ends meet without Mr. Zamani’s wages. She said to CHRR, “I ask that they allow me to see my child. He is a laborer; he has a wife and kids. What is his crime? Clearly he is a laborer so he defended his fellow workers and there is nothing wrong with doing that. They must release him.”

She died without seeing her son or his release. Shahrokh Zamani who was known to be strong and athletic was in good health before his arrest. He died in prison today of a reported brain aneurism and stroke.

http://www.chrr.biz/en/news-en/37595

http://www.chrr.biz/fa/news/37591


Hossein Ronaghi: I am going through stressful and difficult days.

Hossein RonaghiI am going through stressful and difficult days. To my friends and acquaintances that ask how I’m doing, I have to say the following: I am going through stressful and difficult days due to unyielding physical and psychological duress.

With my left kidney non-functioning, physicians have stressed that it is imperative for my right kidney to be protected from any further damage by supplying the necessary treatments and medical follow-ups. I have to endure constant kidney pain, burning and frequent urination due to my kidney disease.

My digestive issues (chronic duodenal ulcers and esophageal reflux) continue. According to the results of my latest endoscopy and testing done in the past weeks, with the medication and strict adherence to a special diet, my stomach pylori infection is better and now under control. But my stomach ulcers and digestive issues remain and must be contained with special nourishment and medication that is not available behind bars.

An important aspect of my physical health is that recently doctors diagnosed me with blood and pulmonary problems. Various tests indicate that I must complete a diagnostic process due to both my lungs being injured, causing preliminary asthma. Recently blood was taken out per doctors’ orders so that I don’t encounter further issues caused by high blood concentrations (polycythemia).

Other issues that have intensified my health problems are heart mitral valve prolapse; cardiac arrhythmias associated with rising and dropping of my blood pressure that can be dangerous and amplified with stress; prostate problems; osteoarthritis of the knee and neck, swelling of the spleen caused by high blood concentrations among other issues causing my body to deteriorate.

But why is it that despite all of this – the official forensic report and specialized physicians stating prison conditions are dangerous for me due to my condition – must the Tehran Prosecutor’s office insist on sending me back to prison, sometimes with a tone threatening to put a warrant out and seize my bail.

I object to the fact that Section 502 of the Code of Criminal Procedures is not applied to me; I object to the fact that last year’s Eid-e Fetr amnesty given by the Supreme Leader for ailing prisoners is not applied to me; I object to the fact that in general, no law supports me and no law protects me. Why should a young person be sentenced to 15 years in prison? What unforgiving crime has been committed and what huge harm has been done to the country?

According to doctors, the prison conditions (food, medicine, medical clinic, stressful environment) are harmful for me and can cause further illnesses and complications, with asthma and blood problems not being the last of them. Indeed, even if the sufferer is a prisoner, who is responsible for the plunging health and life of a human being?

During the time that I have been out of prison, the pressure I have endured has magnified and worsened the situation for me and my family. The conditions are even more intense than when I was in prison, and this, is a form of imposing a double-penalty.

http://www.ronaghi.me/2015/08/Hossein-illness-Report.html
روزهای پر استرس و سختی را پشت سر می گذارم؛ بسیاری از دوستان و آشنایان جویای وضعیت و احوالم هستند و همین یک جمله را باید بگویم که بخاطر وضعیت جسمی و فشارهای روانی، روزهای پر استرس و سختی را پشت سر می گذارم
بیماری کلیوی که به دلیل از کارافتاگی کلیه چپ نوعی از نارسایی کلیوی هست نسبتا کنترل شده تا کلیه راستم بیش از پیش آسیب نبیند، کلیه چپم بر اساس نظر پزشکی قانونی کارکرد واضحی ندارد و مهم است که کلیه راستم تحت شرایط خاصی و پیگیری های مداوم حفظ شده و آسیب نبیند. دردهای کلیوی، سوزش و تکرر ادرار مواردی هست که بدلیل بیماری کلیوی باید تحمل کنم.
بیماری گوارشی (زخم مزمن اثنی عشر و رفلاکس مری و رفلاکس صفراوی معده) همچنان ادامه دارد. بر اساس آخرین آندوسکپی انجام شده در هفته گذشته، طی یک ماه گذشته با توجه به رعایت رژیم غذایی خاص و استفاده مداوم از داروها، عفونت هلیکوباکتر پیلوری معده از بین رفته و کنترل شده است. اما زخم سیستم گوارشی و رفلاکس مری و رفلاکس صفراوی معده همچنان پابرجاست و نیاز به تحت نظر بودن، استفاده از رژیم غذایی خاص و داروهای تجویز شده می باشد که در شرایط زندان فراهم نبودند.
نکته مهم در مورد وضعیت جسمی من این است که اخیرا پزشکان متوجه شده اند که به مشکل خونی و ریوی دچار شده ام؛ مشکل خونی که بعد از انجام آزمایشات مختلف و طی کردن مراحل تشخصی مشخص می گردد و مشکل ریوی آسیب دیدگی هر دو ریه است و تشخیص اولیه ابتلا به آسم (رسترکتیو ریه ها) بوده که باید مراحل تشخیصی کامل گردد. با توجه به غلظت خون بالا بر اساس نظر پزشکان فصد خون انجام دادم تا انجام مراحل تشخیصی در این مورد دچار مشکل دیگری نشوم.

مشکل افتادگی دریچه میترال قلب، آریتمی قلب همراه با افت و خیز فشار خون که در شرایط استرس زا می تواند خطرناک و مشکل ساز باشد، پروستات، آرتروز زانو و گردن، التهاب طحال بدلیل غلظت خون بالا از دیگر مواردی هست که باعث بدتر شدن اوضاع جسمی من شده است.

اما چرا باید با این وضعیت و با وجود نظریه پزشکی قانونی مبنی به نامناسب بودن شرایط زندان برای شخصی با وضعیت جسمی من و نظر پزشکان فوق تخصص و متخصص در مورد شرایط جسمی و بیماریم همچنان دادستانی تهران بر بازگرداندن من به زندان اصرار کند و گاهی با لحن تهدید، از حکم جلب و بازداشت وثیقه سخن به میان آورد؟
از اینکه ماده 502 آیین دادرسی کیفری در مورد من اجرا نمی شود گله مندم، از اینکه عفو عید فطر رهبری در سال گذشته که شامل زندانیان بیمار شده بود در مورد من اجرا نمی شود نیز گله مندم؛ در کل بخاطر اینکه هیچ قانونی مرا حمایت نمی کند و هیچ قانونی در مورد من اجرا نمی شود گله مندم؛ اصلا چرا یک جوان باید به 15 سال حبس محکوم شود؟ مگر چه گناهی نابخشودنی انجام داده است یا چه آسیب بزرگی به کشور وارد کرده است؟ به گفته پزشکان شرایط زندان از همه لحاظ (غذایی، دارویی، بهداشتی، درمانگاهی، استراحت و مکان بدور از استرس) برای من مضر است و معلوم نیست با وجود آن شرایط به چه بیماری جدیدی مبتلا شوم و طبعا با همین روال آسم و مشکل خونی آخرین آنها نخواهد بود. براستی چه کسی مسئول بخطر افتادن سلامتی و جان یک انسان است؟ هر چند آن انسان یک زندانی باشد. فشارها وارده در طول مدتی که بیرون از زندان بوده ام شرایط را برای من و حتی خانواده ام سخت تر از دوران زندان کرده است و این به نوعی مجازات مضاعف می باشد.


Security forces clash with teachers at rally across parliament

teachers iran

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – The Iranian Teachers’ Association rally scheduled to take place on July 22nd across the parliament was broken off by violent clashes with police and security forces.

According to CHRR, witnesses present at the rally said security forces stationed in front of the parliament building attacked any cluster that was more than two people and violently arrested around 200 teachers. Witnesses reported that while the police forces were somewhat respectful, the plainclothes officials were rude & aggressive. The teachers were loaded onto a mini-bus and taken to an undisclosed location. About 24 hours later it was reported that the majority of the arrested teachers were released.

The rally of the Teachers’ Trade Association was to protest the lack of attention to union demands and the teachers’ low wages that keeps many below the poverty line. The teachers were also expressing their outrage at the recent arrest of Esmail Abdi, the Secretary General of the Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association.

On June 27th Esmail Abdi was arrested and transferred behind bars after visiting Evin prison to inquire about his travel ban status. He had been ordered to show up at Evin by the prosecutor’s office after he requested permission to leave the country to attend the 7th Education International World Congress in Ottawa, Canada.

Mr. Abdi had previously been arrested on numerous occasions; four times in 2006 and 2007 after which the Revolutionary Court sentenced him to 10 years in prison. In 2011 after the prison sentence was handed down, Mr. Abdi was threatened and warned that if he refused to resign as Secretary General of the Teachers’ Trade Association, he would have to serve his 10-year sentence behind bars.

In recent months the Teachers’ Trade Association leaders and members have faced additional pressure due to their protests and activities. Alireza Hashemi the Director of the Teachers’ Association was arrested in March and transferred to prison where he is serving a 5-year prison sentence. Other leaders and members currently behind bars are Rassoul Bodaghi (jailed since September 2009), Ali Akbar Baghani, Mahmoud Bagheri and Alireza Ghanbari. International labor organizations have expressed outrage over the imprisonments and written letters demanding the immediate release of the jailed teachers.

http://www.chrr.biz/fa/news/37274

http://www.chrr.biz/en/news-en/37293


Father of Hossein Ronaghi handed 4-month prison sentence in absentia

Hossein Ronaghi Ahmad RonaghiAhmad Ronaghi Maleki, father of political prisoner Hossein Ronaghi has been sentenced to 4 months in prison for sharing information about his son’s illness and his situation in prison.

According to the Kaleme website, Branch 116 of the Tabriz Public (criminal) Court charged Hossein Ronaghi’s father with publishing lies in cyberspace and sentenced him to 4 months in prison based on Article 698 of the Islamic Penal Code and Article 19 of the Islamic Penal Code which was adopted in 2013. The court session for Ahmad Ronaghi was conducted in absentia without his knowledge, or presence of a lawyer on his behalf.

The Tabriz Public Court operating out of its legal jurisdiction, issued the indictment based on claimed evidence provided by the Intelligence Office of East Azerbaijan Province. The Code of Criminal Procedure stipulates that interrogations must be done in the presence of the accused and the resulting documents must be signed. If the accused is illiterate, a trusted witness must sign.

Ahmad Ronaghi Maleki, whose son has confronted various illnesses as a direct result of his incarceration, is himself suffering from degenerative eye disease rendering him almost blind in one eye while the other eye has fifty percent vision. He also suffers from heart disease and has undergone surgery several times.

During the past 6 years since the arrest and imprisonment of his son, Ahmad Ronaghi Maleki has been summoned to the Tabriz Court numerous times and subjected to high-pressure interrogations in attempts to have him sign false confessions. Hossein Ronaghi’s family is constantly harassed and threatened by the Tabriz Intelligence Agency for publicizing information about the deteriorating health and situation of their incarcerated son. His brother Hassan Ronaghi has received threats to remain silent and his mother was once served with a warrant for talking about her son. His mother Zoleikha Mousavi who continues to speak out about her son despite the threats, recently shared that authorities told her the family’s efforts on behalf their son’s freedom would be futile.

In an interview with Rooz on July 6, a day after Ahmad Ronaghi was served his prison sentence, Zoleikha Mousavi said that even if her husband is taken away, the family will not remain quiet. Hossein Ronaghi’s mother said in the Rooz interview that authorities are aware that according to Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code it is unlawful to return her son to prison. She said Hossein Ronaghi’s sentence should be terminated if the judiciary conforms to what is stipulated in this penal code. She added that because of his situation, Hossein Ronaghi has a pardon from the Supreme Leader. She said the IRGC and Intelligence offices told them they are not opposed to releasing her son, yet it seems Hossein Ronaghi is being held due to a personal agenda.

Zoleikha Mousavi said that they were given 10 days to follow up on the court order for her husband. Hossein Ronaghi’s mother stressed that the family has been subjected to unceasing threats to not conduct interviews during the years but they will not back down. For his birthday, Amnesty International, which has declared Hossein Ronaghi a Prisoner Of Conscience, launched an Urgent Action Campaign demanding that he not be returned to prison. Journalism Is Not A Crime was also among international human rights groups asking that the ailing blogger not be returned to prison.

According to reports by CHRR, Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, jailed blogger and human rights activist was violently arrested at his home in the city of Malekan near Tabriz on December 13, 2009 during the mass unrest following the contested presidential elections. At the time he used the penname Babak Khorramdin and worked with Iran Proxy, a group that worked towards combating Internet censorship in Iran. His brother Hassan Ronaghi Maleki was also arrested and held in solitary confinement where he was subjected to severe torture to add duress and demoralize his brother. He was released on bail after one month and suffers permanent damage to his neck and spine from the torture. Hossein Ronaghi was held for 13 months in Evin prison’s Ward 2-A [under control of IRGC] where he endured severe physical torture and psychological pressure in an effort to coerce an interview and false televised confession, which he refused. Eventually Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced him to 15 years in prison.

While he was in perfect health when he was arrested, Ronaghi’s health has rapidly deteriorated throughout the years as a result of the torture, substandard prison conditions in Evin prison and lack of medical attention behind bars. He has endured 4 kidney operations and countless transfers to the hospital and back to prison during this time. The activist has embarked on several hunger strikes behind bars in protest of his situation along with that of other political prisoners. Despite the recommendation by the Official Forensic Office to release Hossein Ronaghi on medical grounds, he has been ordered back to prison after a short furlough. On July 5, 2015, Hossein Ronaghi’s 30th birthday, agents went to his family home and delivered the prison sentence for Ahmad Ronaghi Maleki – issued by a court session that was conducted without their knowledge.


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