Monthly Archives: May 2010

Ronaghi Maleki Allowed Prison Visit after his Mother Staged Hunger Strike outside Evin

Human Rights House of Iran – Blogger and journalist, Hossein Ronaghi Maleki was allowed a prison visit with his family, after his mother staged a hunger strike outside Tehran’s Evin Prison.

Ronaghi’s family, who had been informed of his critical physical condition during a phone call earlier, had asked Tehran’s Prosecutor in a meeting to authorize a face-to-face prison visit for their son. Their requests were turned down by the prosecutor.
One of Ronaghi’s relatives told a RAHANA reporter, “The prosecutor’s refusal to authorize the visit coincided with news of Ronaghi’s hunger strike, along with Tavakoli and Goudarzi, being widely published by the media. The family who was aware of Ronaghi’s kidney problems insisted on having a prison visit with their son.”
The relative went on to say, “After she heard the negative answer to the family’s visit request, Hossien’s mother decided to go on a hunger strike.”
Ronaghi’s mother vowed to continue her hunger strike outside Evin until she was allowed to visit her son. She was told by intelligence agents that she could continue for as long as she wanted, but she would not achieve anything by staging a hunger strike.
Eventually, after a few days of hunger strike when she saw that the authorities were not going to address her demands, Ms Ronaghi became more vocal and her protests became louder. In order to defuse the situation which was becoming increasingly tense, prison officials took Ms Ronaghi inside where she met with a judge who authorized a face-to-face visit for Ronaghi.
During the visit, Hossein asked his mother, who suffers from heart problems, to end her hunger strike. He was then taken back to solitary confinement. This was the 3rd time in 6 months that the blogger visited with his family. He is said to be in weak physical condition and has difficulty speaking.
Ronaghi’s investigation is going through its final stages and his interrogation will reportedly end this week.
Hossein Ronaghi Maleki was arrested in December 2009. On May 24, after he started a hunger strike, he was placed in solitary confinement, where he remains to this day.

Hossein Ronaghi

VIDEO: Rajai Shahr Prisoner Recently Raped and Tortured Exposes Story from Prison

Documentary publication / video testimony of Bahram Tasviri Khiabani, a prisoner tortured and raped in Rajai prison in the town of Karaj.

HRANA News one of the prisoners in Rajai prison in the city of Karaj discussed the abuse and sexual assault he has endured. He hopes to spread his story and the injustices inflicted on him.

This video was taped in Rajai prison in Karaj during the end of the month Ordibehesht (around May 20, 2010). Due to security reasons, we are not able to discuss how we obtained the video. The person in the video is still detained in Rajai Shahr prison:

In the name of God, I am Bahram Girovani, the son of Mohammad. I went to the security offices to file a complaint about a situation. The day I went, Mr. Akharian (head of ward 1 in Rajai Shahr prison) got angry and threatened me. He hit me even though I begged him not to.

I asked him to please let me get in touch with my family. He said he would do it himself and asked for my number. He got my number and called my mother. He told my family that Bahram is dead and that they need to come to the hospital to pick up the corpse.

I was told that when my mother heard this news, she had a heart attack and got very sick. My family went to the hospital where they were told I wasn’t dead and they realized they had been lied to.

I was asked about who I gave my house number to and I responded that I had given it to Mr. Akharian. They said they would keep me for five days, and after a week, I asked them to please give me permission to get in touch with my family and allow me to take my medications. I had been under a physician’s care and was taking about 15 pills due to a medical condition, but they took those pills away.

I wasn’t feeling well and begged them to let me speak to someone in charge, but they did not allow me to do that. I got so sick both physically and mentally that I wanted to die. I attempted to light myself on fire, but they stopped me and sprayed tear gas in my cell. Then they opened the door and hit me in my face with batons. They used a fire extinguisher to put the fire out. When they sprayed the tear gas over the fire extinguisher gas, I wasn’t able to see anything anymore. I felt like I was going blind and I could barely breath.

They suddenly opened the door and started beating me in my face with wooden batons. Mr. Mirzaghayi, Mr. Zeynali, Mr. Yousefi and Mr. Moradi had all come and they were the ones beating me with batons. All of a sudden I saw that Mr. Moradi was holding a knife. I don’t know if he had just found it or if he had brought it to stab me. I don’t know.

I hit him hard in his hand and the knife fell to the ground. I picked it up to defend myself, but I had no chance to defend myself.

They all attacked me and hit me more, then they took me to a very dark room with no cameras. They beat me harder, tied me up, blindfolded me, tortured me, took my clothes off, hung me, and inserted batons inside of me. I kept pleading with them, begging them, asking them, “Isn’t there a God. Isn’t there a Prophet?” They responded, “We are God and we are the Prophet.”

I asked them if there was someone in charge in the place. They responded that they were they ones in charge. Mr. Mirzaghayi replied, “I have orders. I have orders from Mr. Akharian who has given me permission to do whatever I want.”

They kept beating me with their batons until they broke my legs. I was then taken into a room and left there all night, still naked with my hands tied behind my back. I was suffocating and in great pain because of my broken legs. By morning, my broken legs were bleeding badly and I begged them to take me to the prison clinic, but they refused.

After a month, the wound in one of my legs was infected all the way to my bone. They finally had to take me to the prison clinic. The doctor refused to touch my leg because it was so badly infected. I begged the doctor to help me. The doctor said if they performed surgery I would have to stay there to recover and they had been told that they were not allowed to keep me there for recovery. He didn’t want to take care of me, but I begged him. I kissed his hands and his feet.

Then I told him I would lodge a complaint against them. I asked him if Mr. Akharian had given the orders and he replied yes. Mr. Akharian had told him not to perform surgery. Mr. Gerami and Mr. Ali Mohammadi came. They all said it was out of their hands because they were under the strict orders of Mr. Akharian. So again I resorted to threatening them and said I would lodge a complaint.

I finally convinced them to let me receive an operation.

They took me back to solitary confinement until the day of my operation. I was in the prison clinic for four days.

Mr. Mirzaghai came to visit me and said, “That place where we stuck the batons into you still has not healed. Too bad. Does it hurt? We’re going to make it worse. Why did you have to complain? Why did you complain to the infirmary?”

The night before my operation they gave me some kind of pill that made my mouth go completely crooked. I wasn’t able to talk at all.

The doctors said to me, “That day when you got in all that trouble with those guys, you should have known better than to mess with them. They are the ones who told us to give you this medicine and do this to you. Now look at you. You are not allowed to make a phone call. You are not allowed to talk. You are not allowed to have any visitors. We’re taking care of you, but you don’t even deserve it. We should kill you. Just like we did with Siamak Bandeloo and other people who we killed by injection. We should kill you too.”

When they performed the surgery on me they shaved a large portion of my bone off, they cut the flesh, and they put a cast on it.

Yesterday when I came out, I was beaten again. They kept telling me I should have never complained. Mr. Mirzaghayi beat me up all over my body with a baton. I kept begging him to stop hitting me and I kept asking him why he is beating me again. He psychologically devastated me by cursing at me with very dishonourable words. He took away my dignity in front of all the other prisoners.

Then he dragged me and took me to Mr. Akharian. He told me if I don’t shut up they will continue to treat me like this. He said he would even bring my whole family here and throw all of them in prison too. “How dare you lodge a complaint,” he kept saying. He told me that if I consent to what they say, they would help me out. But if I refused, they would crush me, and this time, they would kill me.

Today they took me back to Mr. Akharian. They threatened me again and asked me to agree to their demands. They said, “If you don’t do it, not only will you not achieve anything, we will kill you and we will just throw your corpse out of here. There is nothing you can do here. The law enforcer is with us. He isn’t going to acknowledge anything that happened to you; not your broken legs and not the baton that we stuck into you. We are the ones in charge here. We tell them what to say.”

They also told my family that Rajai Shahr prison runs on its own. There is no authority over the prison. How about the head of the whole country, I wondered. But in this prison there is no government. There is no Islam. Here they kill people the same way they drink water. Here they have tortured people much worse than they have tortured me. They just beat everybody. They have tortured so many people, after which they force them to say whatever they demand. If anyone dares think of complaining, they will torture him even more.

Prisoners get thrown in a dark camera-less room that no one knows of and they get beaten up. If anyone asks about the prisoner, they lie and say he is at the infirmary or somewhere else. In that room, you are not given water, bread, or anything. There is no toilet.

There is just no logic to anything that the prison officials do. This place is worse than Kahrizak. There are no human rights here. There are no human beings in charge. There is no law.

There is nothing here. There is nothing.

They just kill people like they are drinking water.

I don’t know, just please help me.

Latest News on Bahareh Hedayat and other Imprisoned Students

Judge Moghiseh: If Bahareh Hedayat is not to be in prison, then who should be instead?

May 27, 2010

Judge Moghiseh believes that Bahareh Hedayat deserves to be in prison more than anyone else. The following is the foundation of his argument.

Amin Ahmadian, Bahareh Hedayat’s husband, said in an interview with Rooz regarding his wife’s status, “Overall, she is well. She is detained in a public cell with 24 other prisoners and is able to call home. She is with Hengameh Shahidi, Badrolsadat Mofidi, Mahdieh Golroo, Atefeh Nabavi, Mahboubeh Karami, Alieh Eghdamdoost, Masoomeh Yavari, Zahra Jabari, Shabnam Madadzadeh, and others.”

Ahmadian noted that Hedayat was denied the possibility of parole because she is considered a threat to national security. Hedayat’s family was told that one of the people in charge of her file argued against her release.

Judge Moghiseh said to Hedayat’s family, “Why would we release Bahareh? If we were to do that, then who would we keep detained in prison?”

Ahmadian is hoping that after enduring five months in prison, his wife will be permitted for release.


17 Kerman University Students Arrested

In conjunction with Ahmadinejad’s visit to Kerman, 17 students from Kerman University were arrested.

The reason for the arrests was because the students were allegedly planning a protest against Ahmadinejad’s visit to the university. There is still no news regarding the location of the 17 students.

Another eight student activists who came to Bahonar University in Kerman were also arrested by security forces.

In addition, 34 student activists from Bahonar University in Kerman were contacted by telephone or summoned to the intelligence ministry in Kerman. They were threatened to not get in the way of Ahmadinejad. They were told that they were not allowed to be in the university when Ahmadinejad was there, and if they complained or caused any problems, there would be serious consequences against them.


Polytechnic University: Ali Salem sentenced to two years prison

According to the Socialist Students website, Ali Salem, a leftist student activist at Polytechnic University, was sentenced to two years in prison.  Salem was a senior undergraduate student. He was arrested on Student Day December 7, 2009.

Arash Bahmani

Rooz (source: daneshjoonews)

Koohyar Goudarzi Taken to Prison Clinic Following Hunger Strike

Human Rights House of Iran – Rights activist, Koohyar Goudarzi, was taken to Evin’s clinic, after his condition deteriorated as a result of a hunger strike.

Kouhyar Goudarzi was taken to Evin’s clinic, after his condition deteriorated as a result of his ongoing hunger strike. Goudrzi, who had recently been moved back to solitary confinement, is being administered fluids intravenously.

Talking to a RAHANA reporter, Goudarzi’s mother said, “Today I went to the prison to visit with him, but was told by the officials that he was not allowed to receive prison visits while he was in solitary confinement.”
According to Goudarzi’s mother, he has not contacted his family in 15 days, and there is no information about his condition.

Ms Mokhtareh went on to say, “On my way back, someone called me from Evin to say that Koohyar was taken to the prison clinic after he lost consciousness as a result of hunger strike.”
Ms Mokhtareh said that in a letter she has asked the Tehran Prosecutor’s office to authorize prison visits for her son, but has yet to receive any answer.

Criticizing the way intelligence agents treat the prisoners in Evin, Ms Mokhtareh said, “What crime have our children committed that they now have to go on hunger strike in prison? We did not raise our children to be taken and incarcerated  hungry and thirsty in Evin’s solitary cells.” Kouhyar Goudarzi, a member of the CHRR, was moved back to solitary confinement at ward 240 on May 20, after he protested the actions of the ward 350 head.

Majid Tavakoli and Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki are 2 other prisoners who are on the 5th day of their hunger strike in Evin’s solitary cells.

Hossein Ronaghi

Hunger Strike Day 5: Tavkoli’s Condition Deteriorates, No News on Ronaghi’s Fate

Human Rights House of Iran – On the 5th day of his hunger strike, Majid Tavakoli has started bleeding in the stomach, while there is no information on the fate of Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki who also went on hunger strike 5 days ago.

Concerns mount over the physical conditions of Majid Tavakoli and Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki as they enter the 5th day of their hunger strikes. Tavakoli, who suffers from lung problems, is said to be in critical condition, has started to bleed in the stomach and is no longer able to speak.

On May 23, Tavakoli started a hunger strike to protest his transfer to solitary confinement in Tehran’s Evin Prison. Many human rights and political activists have joined Tavakoli in his hunger strike, and have staged sit-ins outside Iranian embassies and offices of international organizations.

According to RAHANA, there is no information on the fate of Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki. His parents have come to the capital to seek information, but their efforts have been to no avail.
Ronaghi-Maleki was last heard of 2 days ago, when he was in his 3rd day of hunger strike. During a short phone call to his family, the blogger was not able to speak, and his family could not understand his words.

Majid Tavakoli, a student activist, was arrested on December 7, 2009, and subsequently sentenced to 8 years in prison. Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki remains detained at Ward 2A of Evin Priosn, since his arrest on December 13, 2009.
In a press release on May 25, Reporters and Human Rights Activists of Iran announced that they hold the Iranian authorities responsible for the safety and health of both activists.

Hossein Ronaghi

Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki Placed in Solitary after Hunger Strike

Human Rights House of Iran – On May 24, Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki was placed in solitary confinement, 3 days after he started a hunger strike to protest his arbitrary detention.

On May 24, blogger, university student and human rights activist, Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki (Babak Khorramdin), was placed in solitary confinement in Tehran’s Evin Priosn, 3 days after he started a hunger strike to protest his ongoing arbitrary detention and the lack of medical treatment.

According to a RAHANA reporter, Ronaghi’s relatives have said that he is in poor health and his severe kidney problems have remained untreated.

In a short phone call, which was arranged by intelligence agents, Ronaghi told his parents (who are not Tehran residents) that he is under pressure as a result of their presence in the capital as well as their efforts to seek information. The blogger said that he has been ordered to ask his parents to return to their city. Ronaghi’s cough bursts disrupted the short phone call repeatedly, making it impossible for his parents to understand his words.
Intelligence agents and interrogators have in the past put Ronaghi under pressure on several occasions to force him into making false televised confessions; the rights activist, however, remains defiant and has refused to collaborate with the interrogators.

Ronaghi has been allowed 2 face-to face visits with his family during his 6 months of detention, is still under interrogation, and has yet to be tried.

Hossein Ronaghi

Moral Police Impound Cars over “Bad Hijab”

Human Rights House of Iran – Officers from the Emergency Unit and the Moral Security Police cracked down on young Iranian men and women to enforce a government program that aims to fight “chastity offenders.” During the operation, at least 30 cars were impounded and their passengers were given receipts to reclaim their vehicles at the Emergency Unit later.

The joint operation was conducted on Golbarg Avenue in East Tehran and involved a large number of officers. The officers stopped any car that, in their view, was causing trouble for women or was carrying passengers who were improperly dressed.

The operation drew the attention of local residents who were then warned by officers to leave the scene of the roadblock.

Human Rights House of Iran