Committee of Human Rights Reporters – The health of jailed blogger Hossein Ronaghi has been rapidly plunging to dangerous levels as he enters his 18th day of hunger strike today. His mother Zoleikha Mousavi also embarked on a hunger strike one week ago in support of her ailing son.
According to CHRR, Hossein Ronaghi who was inflicted with kidney disease was taken to the hospital and back to prison two days ago on August 24th with bleeding in his kidneys and gallbladder. Based on the conducted tests at that time, Ronaghi’s kidneys are inflamed and inflicted with hydronephrosis; distention of his ureter on both sides and obstruction in his uterine tract leading to intense pains in his flank area. The bleeding in his kidneys and loss of protein has caused the dangerous plummeting of his health.
There has also been concern for the physical state of Hossein Ronaghi’s mother Zoleikha Mousavi who is on her 7th day of hunger strike. Zoleikha Mousavi who went on hunger strike in the past, suffers from a serious heart condition and high blood pressure.
Hossein Ronaghi, blogger and Internet activist who is one of the founding members of Iran Proxy – a group that bypassed Internet censorship with proxy servers – was violently arrested on December 13, 2009 at his parental home in the city of Melikan and was transferred to Ward 2A in Evin Prison [under control of IRGC]. Hasan Ronaghi Maleki, Hossein’s brother was also detained at that time, was tortured and used as a tool in an attempt to intimidate his brother.
In protest of his mistreatment, Hossein Ronaghi went on hunger strike in May 2010 and when the efforts to follow-up on the part of his family were ignored, his mother also went on hunger strike for 2 weeks demanding to get some answers. In July 2010 Hossein Ronaghi went on hunger strike again lasting 10 days in protest of the extensive pressure and mistreatment by his interrogators. He was subjected to intense psychological abuse and physical torture in efforts to coerce him into making a false televised confession, which he refused.
Hossein Ronaghi was held in solitary confinement in Evin’s Ward 2A which is under the jurisdiction of the IRGC for over 10 months before his trial took place. On December 1, 2010 Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Pir Abassi handed Hossein Ronaghi Maleki a 15-year prison sentence. Among his charges were “membership in Iran Proxy,” “insulting the leadership, and “insulting the Islamic Republic.”
On August 22, 2012 Hossein Ronaghi who had been on medical leave from prison was detained along with his father and brother, Ahmad and Hasan Ronaghi Maleki, and 33 other volunteers and social activists who had gone to the aid of earthquake victims in the province of Azerbaijan. He later received another 2.6 years in prison stemming from charges related to his volunteer work, bringing his total prison term to 17.6 years.
On May 21, 2013 Hossein Ronaghi who had undergone surgery a few weeks prior turned himself in at Evin prison per a summons to return behind bars despite doctor’s orders for recovery in a suitable environment with access to his medical needs.
On Friday August 9, Hossein Ronaghi embarked on a hunger strike in protest of the prisoners’ treatment behind bars and the denial of medical leave for sick prisoners. His visit to Hasheminejad Hospital has raised concerns about his health. Physicians warned that with his impaired kidney function, hypotension and the recent sharp increase in his heart rate, his health is at great risk and his situation is very dangerous. There is grave concern for the possibility of a heart attack, which with his young age and illnesses could have catastrophic consequences. Despite the dangerous risk to his health his legal right to medical furlough has so far been ignored.