Tag Archives: human rights Iran

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.



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.


Mahdieh Golru released after three months in detention.

Mahdieh Golru was released today on 700 million tomans bail after spending three months in temporary detention.

The student activist who is banned from continuing her education at Allameh University was detained on October 26 during a raid of her home by IRGC forces. Several days before her arrest Golru had taken part in a peaceful gathering outside the Tehran parliament building in protest of the acid attacks that had taken place on women in Isfahan. To date the perpetrators have not been apprehended.

After Golru’s arrest a group of close to 700 civil activists signed a letter to president Rouhani urging him to exercise his power and apply the law to secure her immediate release.

Other groups within the country and abroad also voiced their concern and demanded that authorities release the activist. Amnesty International in an “urgent action” said the prisoner of conscience had not been given access to a lawyer during prolonged interrogations and demanded her unconditional release.

Previous to her last arrest, Mahdieh Golru who had been detained several times during the past years was released on May 19, 2012 after enduring 30 months behind bars stemming from her peaceful activism. The ban on her education was not lifted after her release despite her efforts.

It is noteworthy that the past weeks have seen a new wave of arrests targeting women’s rights and student activists. Among those recently detained by Intelligence agents are Zahra Khandan and Saha Mortezayi from Amirkabir University, and Fereshteh Toosi from Allameh University.

Source: Daneshjoonews

Mahdieh Golru

Political activists summoned, interrogated and threatened in recent weeks

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – According to obtained reports, in the past weeks at least 50 student and political activists were interrogated and threated by Intelligence agents after being summoned via phone calls. The reports indicate that some of the warrants came with the charge of “propaganda against the regime.” The detained activists were required to post bail or provide a warranty to secure their release.

One of the activists who was detained last week said to CHRR, “I received a phone call with a summons order to appear at Nobonyad Square [in Tehran] but all of a sudden without warning I was arrested. Handcuffed and blindfolded I was transferred to the headquarters of the Ministry of Intelligence (per what I was told by the officials) and placed under preliminary interrogations. Per the interrogating officials, the files for political activists that originated during the events that occurred after the presidential elections are being reopened and reviewed for a renewed examination.

After the preliminary interrogations were done, a group of us were transferred blindfolded and handcuffed to a different area of the city. We were taken to Haft-e Tir Square into a building now designated for handling these cases. During our time in custody several interrogations took place focused on bringing up issues from the past, with efforts to generate fear and panic. This went on until I was released with a number of others after posting bail. Now we are to follow up on our court files and wait for our ‘divine punishment’ according to one of the officials.”

The building in Haft-e Tir Square, which is alluded to by the above activist, is the Mersad detention center. The Intelligence unit of the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its counterparts used the facility in 2009 during the time of mass protests and widespread arrests in the aftermath of the disputed presidential elections.



7 detainees in Rajai Shahr prison announce hunger strike

7 prisoners in Rajai Shahr prison launched a hunger strike on Wednesday April 23rd in protest of the violent assault of detainees in Evin prison Ward 350.

 Following is their letter as provided to Kaleme

Noble people of Iran,

The 1979 Revolution was not one event, but rather a long process in line with the demands and needs of the people of Iran. From the constitutional monarchy onwards it was not by chance that the slogans were liberty, justice and freedom; the leading ideal was the right of the people of the nation for sovereignty over their own future. Unfortunately in the years following the victory of the revolution, officials of the country have repeatedly violated the principles enshrined in the constitution relating to the social rights of the people. The judiciary has not only failed to conduct itself responsibly, but in many cases the institution has itself been the perpetrator of these violations of the law.

Attacking political prisoners, inflicting physical and psychological duress on them and their families is not unprecedented. The abuse of political prisoners by judicial authorities has become acceptable and criminal actions by security personnel in the prisons are routine. It is unfortunate that the officials of the regime do not learn a lesson from their actions that procure short-term results ending with long-term losses.

In the past there has been a lack of fair investigations or punishment for illegal and unethical actions such as the murders of the late Zahra Kazemi, Zahra Bani-Yaghoub, Hoda Saber, Sattar Beheshti, and the bitter tragedy of the violations and crimes that took place in Kahrizak detention center. Unfortunately we have not witnessed any fair probe into the violations and actions of the perpetrators of these vicious crimes. While increasing the gap between the regime and the people of the nation, the judicial authorities have become increasingly harsh and rigid in their dealings with prisoners of conscience and political prisoners.

With these circumstances, the events of Black Thursday opened up fresh wounds for the democracy-loving and freedom-seeking people of Iran.

In the wake of one week after the painful and inhumane event that took place in Evin Ward 350 – the vicious beatings resulting in the terrible injuries sustained by the prisoners and their forceful transfer to solitary confinement – no judiciary, administrative or security official has shown any type of responsible behavior. They have refused to accept accountability for these actions by fabricating deceptive lies in the official media outlets including Seda and Sima state television.

The head of the Prison Bureau who is officially responsible not only blatantly denied the events that took place, but he added insult to injury by ridiculing the inmates. The telling silence and lack of reaction on the part of the Minister of Justice and Intelligence Ministry is inexplicable and suspicious. It seems the gentlemen have forgotten the vote of the nation in June 2013 was “no” to lies, lawlessness, corruption and incompetence and “yes” to the demands of Iran’s Green movement.

Hence we, a group of prisoners of conscience and political prisoners from Ward 12 of Rajai Shahr prison in unison with our friends in Ward 350 of Evin prison, have launched a hunger strike beginning Wednesday April 23rd – in protest of the law-breaking behavior of the judicial and security institutions, and reckless actions of those in charge.

Jafar Shahin Eghdami

Reza Entesari

Massoud Bastani

Saeed Razavi Faghih

Mehdi Mahmoudian

Saeed Madani

Mostafa Neeli

Rajai Shahr Prison



7 prisoners Rajai Shahr hunger strike

Shocking details about the beating of political prisoners; names of those transferred to solitary confinement

Kaleme – During the violent encounter that took place in Evin Ward 350 on Thursday, 30 prisoners were transferred to solitary confinement.

According to Kaleme, 30 political prisoners who protested the violent conduct of officials and their use of batons were transferred to solitary cells in Ward 240 per orders of Intelligence and prison security officials.

During this transfer, over 100 baton wielding prison guards created a tunnel in the hall leading to the exit of Ward 350. As the political prisoners were dragged out on the ground, their clothes were ripped off and the guards beat them with their batons, especially on their heads and faces.According to this report, the guards forced the prisoners against the wall or on the ground, blindfolded and handcuffed them, and violently transferred them to solitary cells in Ward 240. Many of the transferred prisoners were bleeding and had broken bones as they were aggressively hauled into the vans.

Some bandages were provided  when the wounded prisoners arrived in solitary units but they were not taken to the infirmary.

Following are the names of the prisoners of conscience and political prisoners who were transferred to solitary cells:

Abdolfattah Soltani

Mohammad Amin Hadavi

Mahammad Sadegh Kaboudvand

Mohammad Davari

Hootan Dolati

Mehdi Khodayi

Behzad Arabgol

Mostafa Reysamiyanbaf

Mostafa Abdi

Gholamreza Khosravi

Abolghasem Foladvand

Mehrdad Ahankhah

Soheil Arabi

Reza Akbari Monfared

Amir Doorbin Ghaziyayi

Asadollah Hadi


Majid Asadi


Saeed Matinpour

Soheil Babayi

Soroush Sabet

Ali Askari

Davar Hosseinivojdan

Saeed Haeri

Samkou Khalghati

Reza Hamyari

Mohammad Shojai

Amir Rezazadeh


Evin Prison


March 8th and the 10 Days With Bahareh Hedayat campaign

10 years is not a number, it is a life – a lifetime.

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – In commemoration with March 8th (International Women’s Day), a group of student’s rights and women’s rights activists have launched a new campaign in support of jailed activist Bahareh Hedayat. This campaign – while stressing that Bahareh Hedayat is in poor health – demands her release from prison, and asks the people of Iran, officials of the country, and the international community to pay attention to the situation of this prominent women’s and student’s rights activist.

The entries received by the Bahareh Hedayat Campaign will be published in the Free Bahareh Hedayat facebook page.

“Stand with us in commemoration of March 8th and the 10 Days With Bahareh Hedayat campaign.”

The 10 Days With Bahareh Hedayat campaign will be launched on March 8th to share information about her – each day one aspect of Bahareh’s work and character will be celebrated.

This campaign is in protest of the unjust 10-year prison sentence handed for demanding the basic human rights of human beings. We hope that in the coming days, we can draw the attention of the people of Iran, officials in charge of the country, and the international community to the situation of Bahareh Hedayat. In accordance with Article 134 of the new Islamic Penal Code, Bahareh is entitled to prison release after serving half of her prison sentence. With consideration to the fact that she has spent 4.5 years of her 10-year prison term behind bars and she is in poor health, we call for her release via this campaign.

10-Day Bahareh Hedayat Campaign-

Join us in a united voice with the 10 Days With Bahareh Hedayat campaign in commemoration of March 8th (International Women’s Day).

Ten years is not a number, it is a life – a lifetime.

1-    Bahareh is a women’s rights activist

2-    Bahareh is a student’s rights activist

3-    Bahareh is a political prisoner

4-    Bahareh is a wife

5-    Bahareh is a daughter and a sister

6-    Bahreh’s health is in danger

7-    Bahareh is a well known activist in the international community

8-    Bahareh is a friend

9-    Bahareh is a young Iranian woman

10-Bahareh is a woman who defends human rights

Bahareh Hedayat