The Tehran Revolutionary Court rejected the findings of the medical examiner’s office and denied medical leave for Hossein Ronaghi.
According to Kaleme, the Tehran Prosecutor in accordance with Article 291 of the Criminal Procedure Code forwarded the findings of the country’s highest legal medical examiner’s office to Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court which was responsible for issuing a ruling based on the evidence. Due to the transfer of the presiding Judge Pir-Abassi to another court, the branch has been dissolved so the court files were sent to Branch 1 presided by Judge Ahmadzadeh.
Article 291 of the Criminal Procedure Code stipulates, “A prisoner with an illness is obligated to serve the sentence unless the court concludes that doing so will result in a delayed recovery and increased severity of the illness. In such a case the court will refer to the findings of the medical examiner’s office or physician in charge and upon obtaining the appropriate financing, permission for medical care outside the prison must be granted.”
According to this report, despite the consensus of opinion between the Tehran Prosecutor and the medical examiner’s office to allow medical furlough, in an illegal move “appropriate care” in accordance to Article 291 was denied for this political prisoner.
In addition Sattari, Head of the office of Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court told Hossein Ronaghi’s parents, “I will not let Hossein obtain medical furlough because you want him to escape from Iran.” Sattari also alluded to the fact that the IRGC Intelligence unit is opposed to granting medical release for Hossein Ronaghi.
Hossein Ronaghi is among the many arrested during the time of mass protest in the aftermath of the 2009 disputed presidential elections. While in prison he was inflicted with acute kidney disease; he has lost function in 83% of his right kidney and 18% of his left kidney. Per the doctors, in medical terms this patient is functioning with a solitary kidney.
Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, jailed blogger and human rights activist was arrested at his home in the city of Malekan near Tabriz on December 13, 2009. He 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. Finally Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced him to 15 years in prison.
In addition to acute kidney failure, he is inflicted with severe digestive problems and suffers with heart angina. His recent hunger strike in prison was in protest of the negligence and lack of attention of those in charge to his medical needs. He is asking that – in consideration of the findings by the physicians and the medical examiner’s office, and due to the imposed limitations stemming from the prison conditions – he be granted medical furlough, but so far to no avail.
On August 9, 2013, Hossein Ronaghi launched a hunger strike in protest of the blatant disregard and violations of the law by those in charge. Soon after, his mother also went on hunger strike in support of her son and she wrote a letter to the president of the country. In the letter she urged the president to help in securing medical furlough for her son with consideration to the fact that in accordance with the law, an ailing patient cannot be held behind bars. However to this day the legal demands of the family have been disregarded.