Tag Archives: prisoner of conscience

5 followers of Ayatollah Dastgheib arrested in Shiraz

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – On January 27, 2013, five followers of Ayatollah Dastgheib were arrested in Shiraz.

Per a source close to Ayatollah Dastgheib, the name of one of the individuals detained is Taher Faghih. Another 4 individuals were detained at their home in the early hours of Sunday January 27th. There is no obtained information at present regarding the names of the other 4 detained individuals.

Ayatollah Dastgheib is a senior cleric and member of Iran’s Assembly of Experts who has been critical of the judiciary and security forces since their confrontations with protesters during the aftermath of the 2009 disputed presidential elections. The dissident cleric did not attend the annual meeting of the Assembly of Experts in protest. He recently issued a statement stating that those who put the opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mehdi Karroubi, and Zahra Rahnavard under house arrest since 2011 are “guilty of committing a crime,” and their actions are “against the Sharia”(Islamic law). He stressed that all political prisoners in Iran must be released.


5 followers of Ayatollah Dastgheib arrested in Shiraz

Ayatollah Dastegheib

Isa Saharkhiz attacked by prison guards and transferred to the CCU

Human Rights House of Iran –  Several plainclothes agents raided the room of political prisoner Isa Saharkhiz in the heart care unit of Shariati Hospital causing the journalist to end up in critical condition.

On Tuesday afternoon several plainclothes officials attacked the room of Isa Saharkhiz in the heart care unit of the hospital. The agents used violence and caused a commotion hurling insults with abusive language towards Saharkhiz and his wife. They created a very tense and uneasy atmosphere for the visitors and also for other patients in the hospital unit.

Human Rights House of Iran reports that this attack caused the decline of the health of both Saharkhiz and his wife.

According to Mehdi Saharkhiz, the son of this journalist, “After Isa Saharkhiz got into an argument with one of his guards, he became extremely stressed and ended up being transferred to the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) of the hospital. Saharkhiz had asked one of the guards to turn off the television and the guard refused to comply, ending up in an abusive confrontation. The ensuing altercation caused Saharkhiz’s blood pressure to shoot up. His face swelled up turning very red, and he had a severe coughing attack that would not subside. The physicians attempted to stabilize him by administering oxygen and medication to no avail so they transferred him to the CCU unit of the hospital. The physicians stated that Saharkhiz must be kept in a stress free environment and if he is exposed to any stress it can result in his death.”

Isa Saharkhiz was arrested on July 3, 2009 in the crackdown after the disputed presidential elections. He had written several articles directly critical of Ayatollah Khamenei. Security forces assaulted Saharkhiz during his arrest, breaking his ribs.

On September 27, 2010, after 15 months of being held behind bars, Judge Salavati presiding over Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court handed down a 3-year prison sentence for this journalist plus a 5-year ban from political and media activities and a one-year ban from travelling abroad. His charges were “insulting the leadership” and “endangering national security.” After his sentence was handed down, Isa Saharkhiz spoke to his family and told them that he would not appeal because in his opinion “all the sentences are handed down per direct orders of Mr. Khamenei and the judiciary has no say here.”

After a new court ruling on August 5, 2011 Isa Saharkhiz was sentenced to an additional 2 years in prison for his prior press activities, increasing his prison term to 5 years. He has served his sentence behind bars in Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj before being transferred to the hospital.

Journalist and political activist Isa Saharkhiz was born on January 30, 1954 in the city of Abadan. He studied economics, graduating from Tehran University. In 1983 he worked as a journalist with an expertise in economics for IRNA, the regime’s official news agency. In 1997, he served as the head of the Ministry of Culture and Guidance’s domestic publications in the Khatami cabinet.

Saharkhiz founded a reformist newspaper, Akhbar-e-Eghtesad (economic news), and monthly magazine, Aftab (sun), both of which are now banned. He has also authored various publications.

Human Rights House of Iran


Isa Saharkhiz

Journalist Farshad Ghorbanpour detained

Human Rights House of Iran – Security forces arrested journalist Farshad Ghorbanpour at his home in Tehran.

Journalist Farshad Ghorbanpour who was arrested at his residence on Thursday contacted his wife today and told her he was about to be transferred to ward 350 at Evin prison.

According to Human Rights House of Iran, Judge Moghiseh presiding over Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court had previously handed down a one-year prison sentence to Ghorbanpour. The charges against him were “acting against the national security” by “propagating against the regime.” He was also accused of “corroborating with illicit resources” due to his cooperation with the news website Roozonline. This verdict was immediately upheld at the appellate court.

Farshad Ghorbanpour was arrested in the summer of 2007. He was held behind bars for a month before being released with a $260,000 bail.

Journalist Farshad Ghorbanpour was involved with various publications including HamMihan, Kargozaran, Farhikhtegan, Shahrvand Emrooz, and Mehrnameh.

Human Rights House of Iran


One month since his arrest, Houman Fakhar remains incommunicado

Human Rights House of Iran – Even though a month has gone by since the arrest of children’s rights activist and member of  One Million Signatures Campaign Houman Fakhar, there is still no news of him.

On October 14 plainclothes agents who were verbally aggressive and did not have a warrant, violently arrested activist Houman Fakhar.

More than one month has gone by since the arrest of this children’s rights activist, but there is still no news of him. Since his arrest, he was able to make one very short contact with family only saying that he is well.

A family member who went to Evin prison inquiring about his situation was told that Houman’s name is not on the list of prisoners being held there.

Houman Fakhar was previously arrested on February 17, 2011 and he was on temporary release after paying his bail. Houman Fakhar is a 32-year-old electrical engineer from the Netherlands residing in Tehran and serves as secretary of European Association of Education. He is now behind bars incommunicado.

Human Rights House of Iran


Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki Returned to Prison before the Completion of His Treatment

Human Rights House of Iran – Blogger Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki who had been hospitalized for surgery last week has been transferred to Evin Prison.

Blogger and human rights activist Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki was transferred to hospital for treatment after several weeks of delay in his treatment. As a result of the long delay in his treatment, he had to undergo a difficult 6 hour long surgery. His family told the Human Rights House of Iran that he was transferred to prison even though he was in need of further treatment according to his physicians.

He had been suffering from kidney infection in prison and was deprived of medical attention for a long time. He was in need of at least a one month medical furlough.

Ronaghi has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Hossein Ronaghi

My son’s health is deteriorating every day and no one is held accountable

Human Rights House of Iran – My son’s health is deteriorating every day and no one is held accountable.

Imprisoned blogger and human rights activist Hossein Ronaghi Maleki who is suffering from a serious kidney ailment is not receiving medical care and is banned from medical prison leave.

The family of Hossein Ronaghi Maleki visited him in prison today and discussed his deteriorating health in an interview with Kalame. “As we have in the past few months, we again visited judiciary and prison officials pleading with them to allow Hossein a medical leave from prison. But again, nobody will answer our pleas. They will not allow Hossein to receive necessary medical care. We don’t know what else to do.”

This blogger’s father added, ”We travel to Tehran every week in hopes of visiting him. We are so worried about his grave physical condition. His Kidneys are infected and doctors have said that he needs immediate surgery. But authorities will not allow the surgery to take place. We will stay in Tehran hoping that maybe there is something we can do for our child.”

As a reminder, in the beginning of January of this year Hossein was taken to Modares Hospital in Tehran due to his declining health. At that time the doctors at Modares Hospital said that his ailment is very serious and he needs to get urgent surgery.

This imprisoned blogger’s health continued to deteriorate and in February he was transferred to a hospital again. This time he was taken to Baghyallah Hospital located on Mollasadra Street. The doctors in this hospital also recommended immediate surgery but Hossein was taken back to prison because the cost of the operation was too high.

Prison officials said that they could not pay for this prisoner’s surgery. This is despite the fact that Hossein Ronaghi Maleki’s family had already come up with the necessary funds and they told prison officials that they would pay for the operation. Despite this, medical care was denied to Hossein.

Hossein Ronaghi Maleki was arrested on December 13, 2009 at his father’s house and transferred to Evin prison. He spent about 10 months in solitary confinement in Evin’s Ward 2A which is under the jurisdiction of the Revolutionary Guards. He was put under severe psychological and physical duress. With an ambiguous judicial process Hossein’s trial took place in October 2010 and the Revolutionary Court sentenced him to 15 years in prison. The Court of Appeals later upheld his sentencing.  Hossein is now serving his sentence in Ward 350 of Evin prison.


Hossein Ronaghi

Blogger Hossein Ronaghi Denied Medical Prison Leave

Human Rights House of Iran – The judicial authorities have denied furlough for blogger and human rights activist Hossein Ronaghi who has been in detention for the past 14 months and is suffering from kidney problems.

The family of Hossein Ronaghi Maleki travelled to Tehran yesterday to request a medical prison leave for Maleki which has been denied.He had been transferred to the prison clinic last week and the medical staff had confirmed that he needs to be transferred to a hospital outside of prison. According to the Human Rights House of Iran, his family had previously been informed that in case of authorization by the “higher officials”, he would be granted furlough on bail. In September, bail was set for Ronaghi but the cyber unit of IRGC denied his release. Ronaghi is suffering from kidney problems and needs surgery. He was arrested on December 13, 2009 at his father’s house in the city of Malekan and transferred to the solitary confinement of Evin Prison. He has been sentenced to 15 years in prison which was upheld by the appeals court.

Hossein Ronaghi