Tag Archives: Iran political prisoners

Hossein Ronaghi: Imprisonment is not the answer.


Oh January 19, 2016 Hossein Ronaghi presented himself at the Tehran Prosecutor’s Office per orders of the IRGC Intelligence Unit to be taken back into custody.
Before leaving he posted on his Facebook page:

I believe that the answer to any opinion is never imprisonment.

This is why I am returning to prison:

My not returning will result in confiscation of the collateral set for my bail, which is morally wrong and unprincipled. Seizing the collateral would be legal only if I was not reachable or my whereabouts were unknown in case of need for arrest. Despite the fact that I provided my address to judicial authorities for my arrest at their will, this did not happen and ultimately I was told per orders of the IRGC Intelligence unit I was to return to prison.

Also as my mother says, “This is our homeland and we are not the ones who must leave.”

Tomorrow I will go to the Prosecutor’s office, will be taken into custody and imprisoned. What is clear to me is that I will always be beside my family and my friends.

In hopes of bright and clear days.


حسین رونقی
باور دارم که پاسخ هیچ اندیشه ای زندان نیست برای همین به زندان می روم؛بازنگشتن من مساوی است با جلب وثیقه ها و این یعنی سلب اعتماد وثیقه گذارها و سقوط تعهد و اخلاق، اجرای وثیقه ها زمانی قانونی است که برای بازداشت، من در دسترسی نباشم و این اتفاق در حالی رخ داده است که به صورت مکتوب آدرس خود را به مقام های قضایی اعلام کرده بودم تا در صورت نیاز بازداشتم کنند اما این اتفاق نیافتاد و در نهایت از داستانی گفتند که اطلاعات سپاه می گوید باید حسین را به زندان بازگردانید. از آن هم که بگذریم به قول مادرم «اینجا سرزمین ماست آن کسی که باید این سرزمین را ترک کند ما نیستیم»؛ فردا می روم دادستانی و نهایتا بازداشت و زندان، آنچه برای من واضح است همیشه در کنار خانواده و دوستانم خواهم بود. به امید روزهای خوب و روشن

زبان سرخ و سبز… این چه غوغایی ست!
نصیب خون ِ به دیوارها تباهی شد!
برای حرف نگفته به حبس خواهی رفت
برای کار نکرده به بند خواهی شد!
“اشرف گیلانی”


Hossein Ronaghi’s brother expresses serious concern for his deteriorating health in prison.

Hossein Ronaghi


Hassan Ronaghi, brother of jailed activist Hossein Ronaghi:

Hossein’s condition is dangerous and his life is in danger; his kidney is failing, he has serious internal bleeding, intestinal issues and ulcers. Even though physicians have stressed Hossein must be hospitalized, every time he is transferred to the hospital, he returns without treatment.

Today he was again checked and the physicians stressed Hossein has acute gastric ulcers with thickened blood. But unfortunately despite the doctors’ recommendations Hossein was returned to prison without attaining any medical care.

Hossein’s life is in danger. It looks like those in charge wish to destroy Hossein and make sure he doesn’t come out of prison with his health intact.

Wishing those in charge would display some ethical behavior and humanity.
وضعیت حسین واقعا خطرناکه و جانش در خطر هست. الان کیله ش از بین رفته و خونریزی شدید داره و زخم معده حاد و غلظت خون هم جانش رو تهدید میکنه .
با وجود اینکه پزشکان اصرار بر بستری و درمان حسین دارند ولی مسولین از درمان حسین سر باز میزنند و هر دفعه که حسین را به بیمارستان میبرند همانطور بدون درمان به زندان بر میگردانند .

امروز پزشکان گفته اند که حسین کلیه ش از بین رفته و به شدت خونریزی داره و زخم معده ش حاد هست و خونش مشکل داره و غلظت پیدا کرده و براش خطرناکه ولی متاسفانه بدون توجه به توصیه پزشکان حسین به زندان برگردانده شد و جانش هر لحطه در خطر است .
ظاهرا مسولین قصد دارند حسین را با بیماری از بین ببرند و نگذارند حسین سالم از زندان بیرون بیاید .
کاش همین مسولین کمی انسانیت و وجدان به خرج بدهند .

Mahdieh Golru transferred to a 2-person cell in Ward 2A of Evin prison

According to the Jaras news website, Mahdieh Golru, political and civil activist who has been held behind bars for over 50 days in Evin prison has been transferred to a double occupancy cell. However the double cells are the same size as those used for solitary confinement.

The activist was arrested on October 26th after taking part in a peaceful rally across the parliament building following a wave of acid attacks on women in the city of Isfahan. She was held in solitary confinement while undergoing interrogations for about 45 days before being transferred to a double occupancy cell.

A few weeks ago about 300 civil activists signed a letter to the president demanding that Mahdieh Golru be immediately released. In the letter they said, “She is one of hundreds of people who acted completely within the frameworks of the law, and through a civil manner conveyed to authorities their worry about the acid attacks that had taken place in the city of Isfahan. She is a well-known civil rights activist who joined other civil and women’s rights activists on October 22nd in a sit-in gathering across the parliament in an effort to bring attention to the plight of women who face the terror of being attacked with acid. But unfortunately 4 days after these peaceful demands, on October 26th Mahdieh Golru was arrested and to date she is being held in solitary confinement. Mahdieh Golru’s aim was simply to echo the voices of young women who were distressed and outraged by the acid attacks that had taken place.”

Golru was previously detained in December 2009 during the time of mass unrest following the contested presidential elections and was handed a prison sentence of 2 years and 4 months, which was reduced to 2 years by the appellate court. While she was in prison, the student activist who is a member of the Right to Education Council was handed another 6 months for “propaganda against the regime” stemming from a letter she wrote from prison in commemoration of Student Day.

She was released after spending 30 months behind bars. After her release authorities refused to lift the ban on her education and she was not allowed to continue her studies at her university.

source: Jaras  http://www.irangreenvoice.com/article/2014/dec/15/47892

Mahdieh Golru

The use of new pretexts by judicial authorities to prevent the release of political prisoners

Kaleme – Sepand Mir Yousefi Despite the new Islamic Penal Code and Code of Criminal Procedures which effectively could lead to the release of many political prisoners, judicial authorities not only insist on the unjust prison sentences to be fully served, they also seek to keep the prisoners behind bars even after their prison sentences have been served. To accomplish this, the authorities have used some prisoners’ time out on prison furlough as an excuse to prevent them from release when their terms are done. On the other hand the wife of Mehdi Mahmoudian says a representative of the Prosecutor’s office gave them verbal assurances that prison furlough would not be counted as a leave of absence. According to Kaleme, Mehdi Mahmoudian, Bahman Ahmadi Amoui and Masoud Bastani are 3 such political prisoners who were arrested in 2009 during the events of mass protests following the disputed presidential election results. All 3 have been serving their sentences in Rajai Shahr prison. Prison officials have so far abstained from tending to their legal files consequently postponing their release dates. However what the judicial authority labels as a leave of absence is in reality the time that these prisoners – per the verbal approval of the representative of the Prosecutor’s office – remained out of prison while on furlough. Mehdi Mahmoudian [prominent journalist who exposed gross human rights violations at the Kahrizak detention center, and member of the now banned Participation Front political party] –  is one such prisoner who was due to be released today August 21st.  But he remains behind bars and per orders of prison authorities his release date has been extended until September 7th. Elham Zolfaghari in an interview with Kaleme explains the dealings between judicial authorities and her husband Mehdi Mahmoudian leading to his release date being prolonged for an extra 2 weeks.

Mr. Mahmoudian was arrested in September 2009 and has been behind bars since then with the exception of a few short releases on furlough. Considering the fact that his prison sentence was 5 years, what is the exact date of his sanctioned release?

His release date was set for August 21st, which is today. But last year he was granted furlough for about 3-4 months along with [political prisoners & journalists] Bahman Amoui and Masoud Bastani. At that time they went to the Prosecutor’s office several times to request an increase to their time on furlough, and [deputy prosecutor] Mr. Khodabakhsi himself said not to come back to the office because they would put extensions into effect themselves, and would call the prisoners and let them know whenever it was required of them to report back to prison. But then one month and 20 days before the [Persian] New Year they called and said, ‘Why haven’t you come back? We will count this period of time that you failed to return as a leave of absence!’

So the time that they had verbally acquiesced to as an extension to furlough, they ended up counting as a leave of absence? When did you become aware of this?

The document that was given to Mehdi showed February 21, 2015 as his release date prompting us along with other families to make visits to the Prosecutor’s office. We said the time off was on furlough and you were the ones who told us you would call when it was required of them to go back to prison. After all a prisoner’s leave of absence doesn’t happen like this. One day maybe they don’t show up,; 5 days; 20 days; but no one will not show up for 160 days, especially knowing that the days will be counted towards a leave of absence. For Mr. Amoui they had tallied 140 days and for Masoud Bastani 120 days. Nobody would be a no-show for this long!

Did you not follow up on why they didn’t adhere to what Mr. Khodabakhsi had said? What is the end resul

We pursued the matter extensively and they finally agreed to count some of the days as time on furlough, but refused to concede about 15-16 days. His release should have been August 21st which is today but they added some time and announced September 7th as his new release date.

Did you have visitation with Mehdi on Wednesday? Did he not say anything about this issue?

He also said that his release date is August 21st but they have counted 15-16 days as a leave of absence therefore extending his release date to September 7th.

How about Masoud Bastani and Ahmadi Amoui?

Bahman’s release date was scheduled to be September 21st but 15-16 days were added, extending it to sometime in mid-October. And Masoud has a 6-year prison sentence, which makes his release date sometime around this time next year.

What do Zeynab’s daughters say and feel about their father’s freedom?

Regardless they are happy that their father is due for release after 5 years of imprisonment. Any child would feel the same way. Ultimately this child has her own narrative. From the time that she entered first grade in September exactly 5 years ago, her father was in prison. This year she enters the 6th grade and her father will come home.

Mr. Mahmoudian came home two weeks ago for only 4 days to tend to his ailing father’s affairs. How is his father doing?

His father isn’t doing well; he is mostly bedridden and has to be fed. Those 4 days were granted only because his father’s health had gravely deteriorated and while out he was only allowed to see his father. Unfortunately his father is not doing well.

Do you have anything else you would like to say?

I would just like all families [of political prisoners] to have some level of happiness; for [authorities] to not cause further distress to the families and to at the very least stand by their own words. Let them hear my voice, that when they say ‘you can go and we will take care of the extension ourselves and will call you when the time comes’ –  to not create problems for the prisoners later. So now after 5 years when he is ready to be released, it is still not clear if he is required to go back or not, if we should accept what we are told or not, if the prison officials will accept what we were told, or not. I am still not very optimistic. But god willing, we will see if he is released on Sepetember 7th or not.   Kaleme http://www.kaleme.com/1393/05/30/klm-195485/


Salman Khalilpour transferred back to Rajai Shahr Prison

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – After a short release for medical treatment, Salman Khalilpour, leftist political activist and poet, was ordered back to Rajai Shahr Prison.

According to CHRR, Mr. Khalilpour was granted medical furlough on July 15, 2014 to undergo surgery on his right knee. He is now again behind bars in prison.

Salman Khalilpour was placed under severe physical and psychological duress during his interrogations when he was arrested. He was handed a 6-year prison sentence stemming from the charges of “acting against national security,” “insulting the leadership,” and “collaborating with opposition parties.”

Mr. Khalilpour, born in 1983 was detained due to his efforts to aid his brother who had been arrested and released on numerous occasions. In his dealings with government officials on behalf of his brother, Salman Khalilpour was dealt with violent hostility and ended up with injuries inflicted by Security forces during the altercations. After his arrest and a short trial, the injured activist was sent to Amol prison to serve his sentence. At the prison facility, Salman Khalilpour voiced his opposition to political prisoners being held among criminals. The enraged prison guards responded with violence resulting in severe injuries in Khalilpour’s fingers, legs and head before sending him to solitary confinement in Ward 3 of the prison.

The political activist was released after serving his time only to be arrested again during events leading to mass protests after the contested presidential elections of 2009. During the harsh interrogations, he was injured again in the legs, hands, back and waist. As a result of his severe hip and knee injuries, he was immobilized and not being able to walk, was hospitalized in the prison facility before being granted a short medical furlough for surgery.

Soheil Khalilpour, Salman’s older brother born in 1978 was also a leftist activist. He was arrested in 1999 following the student protests that resulted in wide spread arrests, disappearances, violent confrontations and raids in student dormitories. After spending 3 years behind bars in Evin prison he was released and following a short period of silence he again embarked on his political activities resulting in another arrest by Intelligence agents. After spending a few months in Sari prison, he was transferred to Amel prison to serve his sentence. When he was released, Soheil Khalilpour suffered from partial loss of vision, broken ribs, a broken nose, kidney issues, and multiple injures caused by torture and beatings.

Soheil Khalilpour was arrested again in 2009 during the time of mass protests following the disputed presidential election results. He was jailed in Amel prison after being charged with “acting against national security” and “relations with anti-regime groups.” After his release, on January 18, 2013 Soheil Khalilpour was kidnapped from the street and murdered by unidentified perpetrators. His dead body was located in front of Imam Reza Hospital in the city of Amol.



Salman Khalipour

Another attack in Ward 350 of Evin prison- destruction and confiscation of personal property of prisoners with intent to incite violence

One day after the transfer of a group of Ward 350 prisoners where only 62 prisoners remain, 60 security guards raided the ward and in the pretext of doing a search, they ransacked the area, confiscated personal property and destroyed the prisoners’ belongings.

According to Kaleme, while there is intense worry for the wellbeing and fate of the political prisoners in Ward 350, the pressure and ill treatment of the prisoners has been escalating on a daily basis. During the past weeks there have been various news of changes taking place in the situation of the prisoners. On Wednesday afternoon a score of security guards accompanied by the Head of the prison, Ali Ashraf Rashidi along with the Deputy Head of the Tehran Prisons Organization and his Executive Vice-President Javad Momeni showed up at Ward 350 of Evin prison in an unprecedented and very threatening manner, and personally took part in the violent search of one of the prison units.

In yesterday’s incident, which had the hallmarks of the bloody prison raid on April 17, per order of the Head Warden the guards while bearing in mind the ensuing protest after the last incident, transferred a number of the prisoners to a different area of Ward 350 and enclosed them in that area.

The reports indicate that the prisoners were kept in the enclosed area for hours where they were threatened and harassed rudely by the prison warden. The political prisoners impeded the violence from escalating and turning into another melee by showing restraint despite the behavior of the guards.

The violent inspection on Wednesday ended with the destruction of belongings and confiscation of various personal items belonging to prisoners of conscience and political prisoners. The prisoners who had been moved to another area were not allowed to go back to their own cells and were forced to stay enclosed in a different area under difficult circumstances with no access to their personal items and belongings.

After the massive search was conducted, the right to get outside air was banned for all the prisoners and they were not allowed to go in the courtyard.

During the raid, the security personnel along with hurling insults told the prisoners that the plan was to dismantle Ward 350 and send prisoners to other wards in the facility. Judging by the aggressive nature of these recent incidents, the type of attacks, violence, destruction of property and threats, it is likely that the Head of the prison along with the Deputy Head have orchestrated a plan of action to create chaos and cause havoc in the facility.



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