Tag Archives: political prisoners Iran

Father of Hossein Ronaghi handed 4-month prison sentence in absentia

Hossein Ronaghi Ahmad RonaghiAhmad Ronaghi Maleki, father of political prisoner Hossein Ronaghi has been sentenced to 4 months in prison for sharing information about his son’s illness and his situation in prison.

According to the Kaleme website, Branch 116 of the Tabriz Public (criminal) Court charged Hossein Ronaghi’s father with publishing lies in cyberspace and sentenced him to 4 months in prison based on Article 698 of the Islamic Penal Code and Article 19 of the Islamic Penal Code which was adopted in 2013. The court session for Ahmad Ronaghi was conducted in absentia without his knowledge, or presence of a lawyer on his behalf.

The Tabriz Public Court operating out of its legal jurisdiction, issued the indictment based on claimed evidence provided by the Intelligence Office of East Azerbaijan Province. The Code of Criminal Procedure stipulates that interrogations must be done in the presence of the accused and the resulting documents must be signed. If the accused is illiterate, a trusted witness must sign.

Ahmad Ronaghi Maleki, whose son has confronted various illnesses as a direct result of his incarceration, is himself suffering from degenerative eye disease rendering him almost blind in one eye while the other eye has fifty percent vision. He also suffers from heart disease and has undergone surgery several times.

During the past 6 years since the arrest and imprisonment of his son, Ahmad Ronaghi Maleki has been summoned to the Tabriz Court numerous times and subjected to high-pressure interrogations in attempts to have him sign false confessions. Hossein Ronaghi’s family is constantly harassed and threatened by the Tabriz Intelligence Agency for publicizing information about the deteriorating health and situation of their incarcerated son. His brother Hassan Ronaghi has received threats to remain silent and his mother was once served with a warrant for talking about her son. His mother Zoleikha Mousavi who continues to speak out about her son despite the threats, recently shared that authorities told her the family’s efforts on behalf their son’s freedom would be futile.

In an interview with Rooz on July 6, a day after Ahmad Ronaghi was served his prison sentence, Zoleikha Mousavi said that even if her husband is taken away, the family will not remain quiet. Hossein Ronaghi’s mother said in the Rooz interview that authorities are aware that according to Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code it is unlawful to return her son to prison. She said Hossein Ronaghi’s sentence should be terminated if the judiciary conforms to what is stipulated in this penal code. She added that because of his situation, Hossein Ronaghi has a pardon from the Supreme Leader. She said the IRGC and Intelligence offices told them they are not opposed to releasing her son, yet it seems Hossein Ronaghi is being held due to a personal agenda.

Zoleikha Mousavi said that they were given 10 days to follow up on the court order for her husband. Hossein Ronaghi’s mother stressed that the family has been subjected to unceasing threats to not conduct interviews during the years but they will not back down. For his birthday, Amnesty International, which has declared Hossein Ronaghi a Prisoner Of Conscience, launched an Urgent Action Campaign demanding that he not be returned to prison. Journalism Is Not A Crime was also among international human rights groups asking that the ailing blogger not be returned to prison.

According to reports by CHRR, Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, jailed blogger and human rights activist was violently arrested at his home in the city of Malekan near Tabriz on December 13, 2009 during the mass unrest following the contested presidential elections. At the time he used the penname Babak Khorramdin and worked with Iran Proxy, a group that worked towards combating Internet censorship in Iran. His brother Hassan Ronaghi Maleki was also arrested and held in solitary confinement where he was subjected to severe torture to add duress and demoralize his brother. He was released on bail after one month and suffers permanent damage to his neck and spine from the torture. Hossein Ronaghi 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, which he refused. Eventually Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced him to 15 years in prison.

While he was in perfect health when he was arrested, Ronaghi’s health has rapidly deteriorated throughout the years as a result of the torture, substandard prison conditions in Evin prison and lack of medical attention behind bars. He has endured 4 kidney operations and countless transfers to the hospital and back to prison during this time. The activist has embarked on several hunger strikes behind bars in protest of his situation along with that of other political prisoners. Despite the recommendation by the Official Forensic Office to release Hossein Ronaghi on medical grounds, he has been ordered back to prison after a short furlough. On July 5, 2015, Hossein Ronaghi’s 30th birthday, agents went to his family home and delivered the prison sentence for Ahmad Ronaghi Maleki – issued by a court session that was conducted without their knowledge.

17 political prisoners announce end of hunger strike: We will continue to pursue the violations

17 of the political prisoners from Evin prison Ward 350 who had launched a hunger strike in protest of the April 17 vicious attack that took place in the prison, announced that they are ending their hunger strike while emphasizing that they continue their demand for an impartial investigation of the attack.

Below is letter signed by 12 of the political prisoners as provided to Kaleme:

In the name of God

Noble People of Iran,

The events that took place on black Thursday when a considerable number of prisoners were viciously beaten while they were cuffed and blindfolded, leading to many wounded with serious injuries was an unprecedented incident that does not happen all the time.

On April 21st we launched a hunger strike in protest of what occurred, to be a loud voice for the victims and let people know the calamity that took place.

Hopefully with the information and concrete evidence that you the honorable people received, in good conscience you have made your public judgment of the situation. For our beloved people, in addition to the evidence and details of the incident that was made public, a look at the assailant and assaulted is a clear explanation in itself and is a great reminder to the community of who the two different sides are.

When those in charge who should have been the first to stand up to the injustice that occurred and deal with the perpetrators of this crime closed their eyes to what happened, they shed light on a reality that is clear as day. But more than anything, the denial of inalienable facts and refusal to conduct an impartial investigation was the catalyst that guided public opinion.

If the Black Thursday event in Ward 350 of Evin prison continues to be ignored and an impartial investigation is not conducted, it will forever leave its shameful mark on the instigators and perpetrators of the crime. We hope our government can take an honorable action regarding this incident and some brave, justice-seeking representatives can record what happened and shed more light on the truth.

With our gratitude to all those who expressed their feelings about the traumatic experience of the innocent prisoners in Ward 350, among them great scholars, prominent national figures, groups and institutions that with compassion have urged us to break our hunger strike – we announce that on Tuesday April 28th we are ending our hunger strike while continuing our demand for an inquiry into the violations that took place.

Also with gratitude to our dear hunger-striking friends in Rajai Shahr prison who joined us in support, we ask that they also end their hunger strike.

1-    Hassan Assadi Zeidabadi

2-    Amir Eslami

3-    Akbar Amini Armaki

4-    Emad Bahavar

5-    Ghorban Behzadian Nejad

6-    Massoud Pedram

7-    Amin Chalaki

8-    Mohammad Sadegh Rabani Amleshi

9-    Alireza Rajai

10- Seyed Hossein Ronaghi Maleki

11-Reza Shahabi

12-Mohsen Mirdamadi



Added to the above named, 5 political prisoners who had joined the hunger strike in support have  announced that they also ended their hunger strike today:

Alireza Rajibian Fard

Mohammad Davari

Hamid Karvasi

Jaafar Ganji

Mohsen Ghashghayi


Evin Prison


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


Majid Tavakoli returned to prison after end of furlough

Jailed activist Majid Tavakoli was granted temporary release on bail from Rajai Shahr prison in the city of Karaj one week ago on Monday night [October 21] after enduring 4 years behind bars without any furlough. Today Monday 28th his furlough ended and the Amirkabir University student activist returned behind bars.

Majid Tavakoli, a shipbuilding-engineering student at Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Politechnic) was detained for the third time on December 7, 2009. The former member of the Central Council of the Islamic Association of Amirkabir University was beaten up and violently detained by agents as he was leaving the university premises after delivering a speech on Student DayIn January 2010, Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court handed Tavakoli an 8-year prison sentence along with a 5-year ban on participating in any political activities and a 5-year ban from leaving the country. The charges brought against him were “propaganda against the regime,” “insulting the leadership,” “insulting the presidency” and “gathering and collusion against the regime.” Later in another court session presided by Judge Moghise, Majid Tavakoli was handed an additional 6-months in prison on the charge of “propaganda against the regime” for writing a letter from prison in commemoration of Student Day.

Majid Tavakoli was detained twice prior to his 2009 arrest. His first arrest was on May 2007 due to his role in student publications at Amirkabir University for which he spent 15 months behind bars. In February 2009 he was detained again and was held in solitary confinement for 115 days after attending a memorial ceremony in honor of [former prime minister] Mehdi Bazargan.



Majid Tavakoli

Asghar Ghatan released on medical furlough

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – Asghar Ghatan, 60-year old cancer stricken political prisoner who was first denied furlough, has been granted medical release on bail.

This political prisoner who suffers from several ailments including hyperlipidemia, kidney disease and heart failure was often incapacitated in prison. His physician state would deteriorate to the extent that often he was not able to even move. Due to his various illnesses he takes about 30 pills a day to survive. Despite his dire physical condition authorities had refused a hospital transfer but he was finally granted medical furlough on August 19.

Asghar Ghatan, political prisoner who was arrested in the 1980’s when thousands of activists were arrested and massacred by the regime, served 6 years in prison before being released in 1991. When he was detained again he was handed a 5.5-year prison sentence and has been serving his term behind bars in Evin prison since 2010.



Evin prison

Nasrin Sotoudeh Transferred to Prison Infirmary, Hunger Strikes Continue

Kaleme – According to reports received from Evin prison, Nasrin Sotoudeh, human rights lawyer on her a dry hunger strike was transferred to Evin’s infirmary on December 16th as a result of her rapidly deteriorating health. This is the third time Nasrin Sotoudeh has launched a hunger strike in the 100 days she has been incarcerated. Even though her physical health is dire as a result of her dwindling strength she has refused to end her hunger strike.

Reza Khandan, Sotoudeh’s husband and her two children are extremely worried for her wellbeing. To make matters worse, as a result of the Muharram holidays they have not been able to reach the judicial authorities to inquire about her condition.

According to reports received by Kaleme, Nima, Nasrin Sotoudeh’s three year old toddler continues to ask about his mother’s whereabouts and does not understand why his sister and father are so worried. Nasrin Sotoudeh’s daughter, Mehrabeh, who is only twelve years old, has been consoling her three year old brother these days.

Arash Sadeghi, a philosophy graduate student at Allameh Tabatabai University and Gholam Hossein Arashi, who had both protested last year’s election results, are two other prisoners currently on hunger strike in Evin and in dire physical condition. Arashi’s family who live in the city of Karaj are very concerned for their son’s well being and have no one to go to since government offices are closed for the Muharram holidays.

Gholam Hossein Arashi is one of the less known prisoners arrested after the rigged elections. Arashi was one of the 16 prisoners in Evin’s ward 350 who went on a two week hunger strike in the month of August protesting the unacceptable prison conditions. Arashi was arrested on February 6th last year and has endured very difficult conditions in ward 209 and ward 240 of Evin prison.

It is also reported that the physical conditions have deteriorated for imprisoned labour activist Reza Shahabi and imprisoned movie director and journalist Mohammad Nourizad, both who are also on hunger strike. Nourizad who reportedly suffered from gastric bleeding was transferred to the hospital. Reza Shahabi whose physical condition has deteriorated considerably is still on a hunger strike but is now drinking water. The officials have yet to respond to his complaints regarding the lack of attention to his case file.


translation p2e

Nasrin Sotoudeh

Spouse of Ahmad Zeidabadi: “We Constantly Dream of His Freedom”

Since the arrest of Ahmad Zeidabadi, journalist and head of the Islamic Alumni Association a year and a half ago, he has not been able to receive a prison leave. In the past year, Zeidabadi has won the 2010 Golden Pen of Freedom Prize by the World Association of Newspapers and was issued one of the heaviest sentences for a journalist [by the Iranian regime].

Zeidabadi is sentenced to six years imprisonment, a lifelong ban from activities associated with the media or politics, and five years exile in the city of Qonbad-e Qabus. Despite all this, Zeidabadi’s wife and children get through the days holding on to the hope that one day he will be freed.

In an interview with Kaleme, Mahdieh Mohammadi, the wife of Ahmad Zeidabadi, discussed his recent condition:

Kaleme: Mrs. Mohamamadi, may you please provide us with the most recent news on Ahmad Zeidabadi’s situation?

Mahdieh Mohammadi (MM): Mr. Zeidabadi is still held in Rajai Shahr prison along with other political prisoners including Isa Saharkhiz and Masoud Bastani. We get to visit him every week. But since men and women have to visit on separate weeks, I see him every other week. He calls the house twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Anyway, this is how we pass the days far away from each other.

Kaleme: Mr. Zeidabadi is one of the political prisoners who has not yet been given any time off from prison. Why is that?

MM: I have no idea why he is not allowed to benefit from prison leave considering it is his legal right. None of the political prisoners in Rajai Shahr have been given any time off from prison, except for Mr. Soleimani who a few days ago was allowed to leave for a very short period of time. The reason for not allowing a leave for my husband is unknown to us considering that it is a legal right for all prisoners.

Kaleme: What measures have been taken in this regard by you or his lawyer?

MM: We have requested a leave for him five or six times. One of the requests came directly from Mr. Zeidabadi and was received by the Tehran Prosecutor Mr. Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi. Interestingly, he said that it is out of his hands because the Ministry of Intelligence must grant the prison leave, and the Ministry has issues with my husband.  The Tehran Prosecutor stated that there is a lot of sensitivity around [my husband].

Kaleme: Your husband won the 2010 Golden Pen of Freedom Prize. How did that feel?

MM: I had two polar feelings. On one hand, I was truly thrilled and proud that I have spent years living by the side of such a human being; a person whose aptitude and influence is applauded by the world. On the other hand, I am worried that by being given this award, the Islamic Republic will be even more resistant to him. He will be deprived of more allowances, such as his right to prison leave. I’m afraid that prison conditions for my husband will be even more difficult now.

Kaleme: Did Mr. Zeidabadi have any reaction when he heard the news of the prize? What did he say?

MM: This award was given to my husband last year and the ceremonies took place this year. Anyway he was very happy to receive such an award. Mr Zeidabadi is an extremely knowledgeable and talented journalist. Our country is great at fostering the elite, but unfortunately it does not know how to utilize these great citizens. On one hand our universities produce exceptional students, then these same highly educated citizens are held captive in prison.

Kaleme: Mrs. Zeidabadi, you have three sons. How has your husband’s imprisonment affected their lives?

MM: You can imagine how important it is for a father to be there for his sons, especially when they are going through puberty. My two sons who are in their adolescence and the younger one need their father right now. But, unfortunately, my innocent children have been deprived of the blessing of a father for the past year and a half.

Kaleme: How are you holding up? Do you ever cry because of being so far away from your husband?

MM: Of course, yes, over and over again. I cry because of the injustices committed against my husband, me, and our children. I have aged  ten years in the past year and a half. Everyone needs a partner and confidant in their lives, and we had spent every moment of the last 20 years by each other’s side. I will never forget the moment my husband was arrested.

Through the camera lens on my i-phone I witnessed how they took him and dragged him away.  The memory of that moment is very painful. I have the responsibility of three children on my shoulders and [the imprisonment] has made my situation even more difficult. Anyway, we have trust in God, and we must try to have patience so God may provide retribution.

Kaleme: Throughout Mr. Zeidabadi’s imprisonment he has hardly complained or written any letters. Why is this?

MM: In practice, he does essentially recognize the law. Even though he is banned for life from any media activity, he does not accept this verdict, but prefers to heed to it because of the current situation in society. Additionally, at the start of the Millennium, he was sentenced to a five-year ban from any media activity. He has not involved himself in the press or conducted any interview since then.

Kaleme: How much hope do you have that he will be released before his sentence deadline?

MM: We have a lot of hope and get by every day holding on to this hope. I always tell my friends that if they told me on the day of his arrest that we would endure a year and a half of separation, I probably would not be able to bear it. Every day we hope that he will be freed. Every night we sleep with the hopes and dreams of his freedom. I cannot imagine, even for a moment, that he will actually spend another 4 1/2 years in prison.

Kaleme: Have you thought of the moment when your husband is freed?

MM: All our daily and nightly dreams are about that moment.

Kaleme: During this time, what were the best and worst moments?

MM: The worst and most difficult moment was when I watched the i-phone video of how he was dragged forcefully and taken away by Intelligence agents. The sweetest moments are the phone calls. With every contact from him we become re-energized and I am able to discuss issues pertaining to the kids and make decisions [together] about our life affairs.

Kaleme: How will life change when your husband returns home?

MM: I think that even if he is freed, we will always live with the fear that at any moment, the doorbell will ring and they will take him away again. This feeling has been with us since the year 2000, the first time my husband was arrested; a constant feeling of insecurity and anxiety. With every unexpected doorbell or phone call our hearts begin to race.



translation p2e  http://persian2english.com/?p=15722

Ahmad Zeidabadi