Monthly Archives: May 2012

Hossein Ronaghi Maleki’s letter to Arash Sadeghi; Your resistance and camaraderie have been proven to me-end your hunger strike

Kaleme –  Seyed Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, imprisoned blogger who launched a hunger strike on May 26, 2012 in protest of his mistreatment and interference by the IRGC and the Intelligence Agency in his case, preventing the upholding of the law and legal procedures, blocking judicial independence, impeding the rights of political prisoners and their families, wrote a letter to his friend imprisoned student Arash Sadeghi, who is being held behind bars in Ward 209 of Evin prison.

According to Kalame, imprisoned student activist Arash Sadeghi launched a hunger strike several days ago in support of his friend Hossein Ronaghi Maleki. Arash Sadeghi was able to visit briefly with his grandfather after 4 months of no visitations while being held in solitary confinement. Arash revealed that during this time, he was interrogated every 3 weeks.

Arash Sadeghi, a student activist from Allameh Tabatabai University was first arrested after the contested presidential elections of 09, on July 9th, and released after enduring 50 days in solitary confinement. He was arrested again on December 09 following the Ashura protests and released on March 6, 2010.

Branches 28 and 26 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court sentenced Arash Sadeghi to 3 and 6 years respectively. The appellate court reduced the total to one year behind bars plus a 4 year suspended sentence. This student was released after enduring 18 months behind bars even though the court had issued him a one-year sentence.

Last winter while he was visiting the grave of his mother with his grandfather and grandmother, Arash was again arrested. His mother had passed away at her home due to the shock and stress inflicted by security agents.

Following is the text of the letter from Hossein to Arash, as obtained by Kaleme.

Oh breeze, I cannot go to my beloved’s house

You will go there, go safely and send my regards

[by the poet Saeedi]

Dear Arash,

The moment my mother and father told me you have launched a hunger strike in support of your friend I felt both joy and sorrow! I was happy to see you so steadfast and strong by my side. I was sad to know that despite your own dire physical condition, you have launched a hunger strike. You know well that I can never forget your strength, your patience, your talent, your honesty and your gentle soul.

My dear brother!

I know what they did to you after you were arrested on July 9, 2009 by the IRGC and transferred to Eshrat Abad. I know the severe torture you were put under. I know you were arrested again after Ashoura ’88 [Dec ‘09]. I know how the evil ones tormented you and tortured you. Your wounded bruised body and your blackened eyes were the outcome of this Karbala event. I know that today you are standing tall in the solitary confinement of the unjust abusers, and you are enduring great torture and hardship. But you are never humiliated, you hold your head high, and you do not give in to tyranny, so everyone can learn true freedom and resistance from you. I cannot imagine the pain of loosing a mother due to the onslaught of the puppet dictatorship, but you know this suffering too well and you have felt the deep anguish.

My steady comrade!

We live in times when the worth of human beings is completely gone and has been replaced by unjust deeds. These are times when tyrants are attacking freedom fighters and their principles. We must get rid of this darkness with our patience, our stability, and our resistance so that we can shine a light and replace oppression with justice. You know that even before this act of brotherhood, I have well known your steadfast deliverance and integrity.

For this reason I am asking you to put an end to your hunger strike.

This is the request of your friend and your comrade. I hope that you will reach this conclusion, my brother. I hope these dark tormentors know that “sometimes a force can burn a life, and sometimes a sigh can break the tyrant’s back.”

[by the poet Rahim Moeni Kermanshahi].


Hossein Ronaghi, Arash Sadeghi

Hossein Ronaghi Maleki’s father: If my son dies, those responsible are the interrogators and certain members of the IRGC

Daneshjoonews –  Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, ailing incarcerated student activist who has lost function in one kidney as a result of being denied medical furlough, is launching a hunger stike in protest.

Daneshjoonews conducted an interview with the father of Hossein Ronaghi Maleki to discuss this matter. His father said that despite the fact that the prosecutor’s office has agreed that Hossein is in need of immediate medical attention and cooperated, Hossein’s interrogators and a number of IRCG officials have blocked him from receiving medical furlough.

Hossein Ronaghi Maleki’s father emphasized that there are specifically 5 members of the IRCG who have personally obstructed Hossein from receiving medical furlough.

“Following are the 5 individuals. First is Mehdi Sattari, who is the brother of Judge Pir-Abassi’s office manger. Second is Parviz Sohrabi who is an intelligence agent from the city of Qom and one of Hossein’s interrogators. The other three are from Malekan; Sejad Lotfi, Siavash Jedi and another individual. The obtained evidence shows that these individuals have personally obstructed Hossein from receiving medical furlough and since they have no acceptable reason for this, they claim that Hossein will escape if he is granted prison leave. But Hossein will never escape from Iran. We will always live in Iran; this is our country and we love our countrymen.”

Hossein’s father discussed his son’s recent hunger strike.

“We knew that if Hossein is transferred back to prison after his operation, it will be the 6th time that this has happened and this time he will end up dying in prison. For this reason Hossein and I decided together that he must resort to going on hunger strike. Hossein’s death after his transfer back to prison or from his hunger strike makes no difference to us; the result is the same.”

Hossein’s father would like authorities of the Islamic Republic “to please pay attention to the plight of our youth behind bars in this country, to pay attention to how interrogators and some IRCG officers mistreat our citizens.”

Following is the transcript of the full interview.

Hossein Torkashvand:

Mr. Ronaghi, what is the latest news you have of your son’s physical condition?

I’m sure you know that in the past Hossein has undergone 4 surgeries for his ailing kidneys. His left kidney had lost 80% of its function and his right kidney had lost 20% of its function. After every operation, they transferred Hossein back to prison despite the fact that the doctors emphasized that if Hossein does not get the needed post op care at home, the surgeries would not be successful. During each of these 4 times that Hossein underwent surgery, our efforts in securing medical furlough for his recovery were impeded. Interrogating agents of the IRCG blocked us from taking Hossein home and providing the required post op care for him. The last time Hossein was hospitalized was per the orders of the honorable prosecutor who granted our request after we had visited Hossein in prison and noted his very dire physical condition.

At the hospital a CT scan was conducted. We realized that his healing had not been successful and his kidney was infected. Because of this Hossein underwent another surgical procedure to correct the damage. Again several physicians wrote a letter to the prosecutor prompting him to send a group of doctors from Tehran’s Legal Medicine Organization to the hospital to make their evaluation of Hossein’s situation. The doctors from Tehran’s Legal Medicine Organization came to the hospital and examined Hossein, and they passed on their report to the country’s Legal Medicinal Organization. They also announced to the Prosecutor’s office that Hossein’s physical condition is very dire. But unfortunately despite all of this, still the interrogating agents and IRCG members blocked Hossein from medical furlough to receive the needed medical attention. The Prosecutor even wrote a letter to Judge Pir-Abassi but the judge did not concur.  I must mention here that the sentencing that was handed down by Judge Pir-Abassi was illegal. He is a judge who writes in the official court papers that Hossein is a student from Karaj, but Hossein is not from there he is from [Azad University at] Arak. I swear this sentence is not fair. They put Hossein under terrible duress, his mother, lawyer and I were supposed to be present at the court but they blocked us from being there. They severely tortured and pressured Hossein into signing the false verdict.

What follow-up measures have you taken and what results have you had?

Regarding his illness, when they transferred Hossein back to prison, I tried everything to secure medical furlough for his recovery but they refused. Several expert physicians shared their report that Hossein needed urgent surgery. I took his medical dossier to Imam Khomeini Hospital and they admitted him to the hospital and gave me the paperwork. I wrote letters to the Prosecutor and to the Attorney General of the Revolutionary Court. At Shahid Moghadasi Court, you are not allowed to follow-up on any letter that you send. If you go to their offices and inquire about a response to a letter, they tell you it is not allowed to make an inquiry. If you stay at the offices and insist on an answer, you are subjected to abuse and threats of arrest.

Mr. Ronaghi, what is the reason for Hossein’s hunger strike?

The reason for his hunger strike is that I shared Hossein’s entire medical records including the findings of the 10 specialist doctors to the Prosecutor, the Deputy Director of the Revolutionary Court, the Head of Evin Prison, the Enforcement Agency, the Assistant Supervising Prosecutor of the prison, and the prison infirmary. I requested that the Prosecutor please allow Hossein medical leave so that he can undergo the required emergency surgery. The Prosecutor cooperated and even wrote a letter to Evin prison and received a reply confirming that Hossein was in imminent need of emergency surgery. But unfortunately several members of the IRCG and his interrogators blocked this from happening and refused to grant Hossein medical leave.

Now Hossein’t situation is very dire. Hossein was supposed to undergo surgery on May 7th. His mother and I stayed at the hospital until nighttime, waiting for them to bring Hossein as planned, but they never showed up and we had to go back home.

I wrote the Prosecutor asking why the fact that my child’s kidney had completely shut down and that he required medical leave to undergo immediate surgery was being igored. The prosecutor’s office had sent a letter to the prison requiring them to immediately transfer Hossein to a hospital. I contacted prison officials who said that immediately after undergoing surgery, Hossein would be transferred back to prison. On the other hand the doctors have warned that the recovery takes two months and during this time it is imperative that Hossein be under their supervision in order to heal. We knew that if Hossein were to undergo another surgery and immediately transferred back behind bars as has happened in the past, he will be faced with even more dangerous health concerns.

The lack of care by appropriate physicians, the lack of warm water and amenities, the lack of decent food, the lack of fresh air, provides a very dangerous atmosphere for a patient trying to heal from this type of kidney ailment. If we allowed this to happen it would be the sixth time and this time Hossein will end up dying in prison.

For this reason Hossein and I decided the only choice left was for him to go on hunger strike. Regardless of how Hossein dies, the result is the same for us.

Mr. Ronaghi, who are the people responsible for this situation?

Those responsible are individuals who have no respect for the law. They do not allow my son to receive needed medical care. They do not let him leave prison for temporary leave so he can safely undergo surgery.

If my son dies, the IRGC is responsible for his death. His interrogators are responsible for his death.

I am here to tell you that every citizen has rights under the nation’s laws. And those in charge have responsibilities. These individuals use their authority to take care of their own needs while ignoring the rights of the citizens. Is it not unjust how the law is being ignored? They kept my child in solitary confinement for 12 months under conditions that led to his kidney disease. They administered unapproved harmful injections. They knew his kidneys would be destroyed.

They took my son to the hospital but nothing happened and I later found out that he had not received any medical attention. When he was transferred to Shahid Moghades Hospital, again he did not receive the needed medical attention. These people allowed my son’s kidneys to deteriorate and loose function. They intend to kill Hossein and they are doing so. Yesterday when they wanted to forcibly take Hossein to the hospital I told them they are not allowed to take my son. I told them they wanted him to die; they wanted to kill my son. I have good reason. If they cared to keep him alive, why did they not allow Hossein to receive medical supervision after the last 5 times he underwent surgery? Why did they not provide what he needed for recovery in prison? They think they can put Hossein under severe torture, then make him undergo surgery under despicable conditions to make sure he endures tremendous suffering, and take him back to prison where he will get infections so they can claim he just died?

What is the reason for all this pressure on your Hossein?

First of all they claim that Hossein will escape. Secondly there are issues with 5 individuals from the IRCG, that I will not discuss right now, but I will in a future interview if things do not change. This is the reason. These 5 individuals give the orders and they even block the Prosecutor from granting furlough.

So 5 individuals from the IRCG will not allow Hossein to receive medical attention?

Yes, Yes. They are from Malekan. First is Mehdi Sattari, who is the brother of Judge Pir-Abassi’s office manger. Second is Parviz Sohrabi who is an intelligence agent from the city of Qom and one of Hossein’s interrogators. The other three are from Malekan; Sejad Lotfi, Siavash Jedi and another individual. The obtained evidence shows that these individuals have obstructed Hossein from receiving medical furlough and since they have no acceptable reason for this, they claim that Hossein will escape if he is granted prison leave. But Hossein will never escape from Iran. We will always live in Iran; it is our country and we love our countrymen.

Considering Hossein’s dire physical condition and the status of his court dossier, what must happen for Hossein to be saved?

I am making a request here to the leadership, the Head of the Judiciary Mr. Larijani, his Excellency the Prosecutor, and to all the authorities of the Islamic Republic, to please pay attention to the plight of our youth behind bars in this country, to see how the interrogators and some IRCG officers mistreat our citizens. Are these people not citizens of Iran? Doesn’t the treasury of the country pay them? Do I not have the right to live in this country? What has my child said? Nothing. In our constitution free speech is legal. They said it is legal.  

I will speak and defend the human rights of my child. I will continue to defend his rights.  I will continue to share how they have abused my son’s human rights. 

They knew what happened to my son’s kidneys so why did they block proper care? I object to the behavior of these perpetrators. I have filed a complaint wih the authorities and have asked them to lodge an investigation. I asked them to investigate and inquire into why a youth would be held behind bars in solitary confinement for 12 months. When they incarcerated my son, he was a healthy young man. What was the reason for his kidneys to fail? Did they not intend to kill Hossein? I have written many letters to the judicial authorities and have not received any response. They have not answered any of my letters.

Mr. Ronaghi, the authorities are very aware of Hossein’s condition and the letters you have sent. What must happen for Hossein to be saved?

Hossein has made his decision to launch a hunger strike; this is his last resort. Either they allow him to receive medical care so he will stay alive, or they do not and Hossein will die. If he is to die, there are 2 ways this can happen, and Hossein has chosen his path. They intend to kill Hossein by making him go back to prison after undergoing another surgery. We have made our decision. It makes no difference to us if he dies when he returns to prison after undergoing surgery or if he dies now as a result of his hunger strike. Both outcomes are the same to us. I hope that the authorities will see god and remember justice. I hope they remember that a god does exist. I hope they can consider humanity and allow medical furlough so that Hossein’s life can be saved.

Mr. Ronaghi, did you expect the revolution and this regime to treat the youth such as Hoosein in this manner?

30 years ago I worked as an installation contractor. During that time I put 70 million towards the revolution. I shut down my work. At nights we would hand out rice and distribute fuel. This regime’s leaders were themselves behind bars back then. They can contemplate if there was one young citizen who was in prison with them who ended up loosing function in his kidneys? Did they ever witness someone be subjected to such a plague and be blocked from medical attention? The reason we protested and had a revolution was because we wanted fair laws, equity and justice in this country. How is it that a person can make millions overnight and leave the country without the IRCG doing anything about it? You go to sleep at night and wake up to see a person turn into a millionaire. Is there no one who can ask where the money came from? But so be it for us, who have put all our wealth and well being towards the path of the revolution. We never expected this type of outcome from the revolution.

But even if they kill me for all these things that I have said, I will continue to defend the human rights of my child.

What do you have to say to the people?

I do not have any expectations from the people because the people cannot do anything. What can the people do? If they say one word, they are marked, interrogated and taken to prison. What can the people do? A country needs to have laws that both the people and the government are obligated to obey. A country that does not obey laws will never be successful. Laws and the up keeping of laws preserve a country. I have no expectations from the good people of this country.

What is your last statement?

I would just like to say that if god forbid something happens to Hossein and if he ends up dying, it will undeniably be an intentional murder.


Hossein Ronaghi