Tag Archives: Zoleikha Mousavi

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.

Norouz message from mother of Hossein Ronaghi Maleki

Hossein Ronaghi & mother

Zoleikha Mousavi, mother of Hossein Ronaghi Maleki shared the following message for Norouz:

As long as I’m alive I will not have a moment of peace. The day my son was kidnapped from me, my heart was penetrated with the weight of all the pain in the world. This is the 6th year I spend the New Year without the presence of my son Hossein.

Six years have gone by and every year I ask God how I can handle this sorrow and pain.

Only a mother can grasp how I feel these days.

But know that maintaining honor is the reward for speaking of principles, and our children shall remain honorable.

I wish a happy New Year to all Iranians, specially the suffering mothers, the prisoners, and their families.

:متن پیام مادر حسین رونقی به مناسبت فرارسیدن عید نوروز و سال نو

تا زنده ام لحظه ای آرام نخواهم گرفت ، روزی که پسرم را از من ربودند ، تمام غم عالم بر قلبم فروریخت ، و اکنون 6 سال است که عید را بدون حضور فرزند دلبندم حسین می گذرانم…
شش سال شد و هر سال می گویم خداوندا ، چه سازم با غمش؟
حال و روز مرا فقط یک مادر می تواند درک کند…

اما بدانید که پاداش حرف حق زدن سربلندی است ، و فرزندان ما سربلند می مانند…
سال نو را به همه مردم ایران بخصوص مادران داغدار و زندانیان و خانواده هایشان تبریک می گویم…

Image of a mother suffering in anguish

On a hot summer day in August 2010, the families of political prisoners had gathered in front of the court to get news on the situation of their loved ones.

Nobody thought this suffering mother in anguish who spent months in front of Evin prison and the Prosecutor’s office shedding tears and calling out for her son was Zoleikha Mousavi, the determined and powerful woman from Azerbaijan who never let her son Hossein Ronaghi Maleki be alone.

Today we shouldn’t abandon this mother or any of the mothers.

Zoleikha Mousavi & mothers



Letter by mother of Hossein Ronaghi to Ayatollah Khamenei; I can’t be witness to the suffering of my innocent son in prison

Hossein Ronaghi’s mother Zoleikha Mousavi has written a letter to Ayatollah Khamenei urging him to look into the situation of her jailed and ailing son.
The letter as  provided to Kaleme today is as follows:


Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic


I am Zoleikha Mousavi, mother Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, political prisoner who has spent 4 years in prison in unsuitable conditions while very sick with kidney disease. As a mother who has taken the responsibility of my son’s affairs, I have lost hope in all the authorities at the Prosecutor’s office and the judiciary, so I resort to writing to your Excellency in order to save my son’s life. In 2009 after the presidential elections, officials from the Intelligence Ministry violently detained our son in front of our eyes and when they raided our residence they did not keep the sanctity of our home. Without a warrant they forcibly took Hossein from our home and we spent months aimlessly searching while trying to find out what they had done with our son. We have consistently followed up on Hossein’s situation to no avail and to this day nobody has given us answers.

My son was healthy and after they imprisoned him he was inflicted with various illnesses – and now they don’t allow furlough in order to receive needed medical attention! Does Islam say to imprison an innocent human being and torture him? Even the prophet had mercy on his enemies who were sick. Why does the Tehran Prosecutor General treat my son like an enemy when Hossein’s sickness is a direct result of the tortures inflicted on him in prison? Are you aware that people such as Mr. Khodabakhsh, the Deputy Tehran Prosecutor always treats us with utter disrespect, does not give us any answers and says, “Your son will finally die in prison?”  What has my son and other political prisoners been accused of that they are treated in this way? They were concerned about their people and their country and we should be proud of them not throw them in prison.

I am a tolerant mother. I am a mother who was threatened by interrogators who said that they would take my daughters away too but I can’t be witness to my son suffering in prison. These past four years have bee the most difficult times for us and there is no one that will hear our words and come to our aid. Hossein underwent seven surgeries while he was incarcerated and every time against physicians’ orders they returned him to prison and he ended up getting sick all over again. He has refused his medication in prison for almost 2 months in protest of the lack of attention of those in charge. He is not willing to self medicate and because of this he is in extremely poor health. As a mother I ask your Excellency to attend to the situation of my innocent jailed son whose life is in danger. The law says a sick person should not be kept in prison but for reasons unbeknownst to us the Tehran Prosecutor is breaking the law. I ask your Excellency to prevent these law breaking actions and order that my son’s situation be taken care of.

With respect,

Zoleikha Mousavi, mother of political prisoner Hossein Ronaghi


Zoleikha Mousavi

Hossein Ronaghi Maleki: letter to my mother

Hossein Ronagh’s letter to his mother regarding his quest for human rights.


Greetings my beloved mother who means more than life to me!

I know there is no need for introductions when speaking to you. In all these painful years you have respected my beliefs and along with other mothers like yourself, you supported your child’s endeavor to obtain dignity and freedom for our motherland, our beloved Iran. You have given your support even though your efforts have been the source of grief, anxiety and much hardship.

Mother! You know that suppressing a person by designating him/her as a political prisoner is leveraged as the ultimate pressure upon those who do not forgo their promise of making a contribution towards freedom of our nation. But the authoritarians who tell lies and rule through dictatorship are well aware that they cannot impose their wishes on us by force. Those who in the name of religion drew the people’s blood during the sacred month, generated the atrocity at Kahrizak, tortured the children of Iran and imprisoned them, are well aware that one day they will have to answer to their actions. According to what God has conveyed in the Quran, all tyrants will suffer the consequences of their evil deeds.

My dear mother! I look at you and I see the result of the tumultuous times drawn upon your face. In your eyes I see the yearning, the pain and the grief. On the one hand I hate myself for being the catalyst of your suffering and on the other hand I am comforted knowing that you did not raise me to be weak and helpless.

Mother as a result of the principles and ideals that you instilled in me and taught me to honor, I have been able to journey through the darkest days. You were tenacious and you taught me perseverance. You told me these days would pass and eventually each would have their day. In the last days of my solitary confinement you told me about the women’s ward, the female prisoners and their gallant courage. With your melancholy voice you led me to serenity and I became calm. It was as simple as that.

My devoted mother! Do you recall how a little while ago in the aftermath of the Azerbaijan earthquake you stayed up till dawn packaging the items for the victims, and instead of trying to dissuade me from going to the earthquake stricken area, you supported and encouraged me? Even after my arrest and the difficult plight that ensued you never said, “You made a mistake, Hossein!” When I was embarking on my journey to the earthquake stricken region, despite the worry in your eyes you saw me off with your blessing. Despite the considerable torment and suffering you have endured, you told me of the displaced and destitute earthquake stricken people with no shelter in the bitter cold. In the face of all the oppression that you have sustained, it is still you who has not forgone your sense of responsibility and deep compassion.

My devoted mother! When the human blood is spilled because of power and tyranny, the cries will turn forceful and rise into storms. Yes, from the anonymous homes, to the empty tables, to the wails of mothers, to the locks of prison, to yesterday’s grief, to the bloody present, to the joyful tomorrow, flame to flame, chain to chain, a hurricane will be formed that will break the shackles of bondage. Tyranny will be destroyed and its corrupt ideology will be exposed. That is the day when freedom will emerge and liberate the oppressed people.

My kind-hearted mother! Freedom is a human right and at its helm is dignity and humanity. There are scores of men and women who have endured prison and torture in the path towards a taste of freedom and justice. And I am another one of them. Imprisonment is not the answer to free expression. I will continue my protest in prison against the disregard for the law and criminal behavior of the oppressor; I will never be silent vis-à-vis the repression and injustice that is taking place. I will continue my protest by hunger strike, which is the last resort in demanding the most basic human rights when the ruling apparatus pays no heed to our cries. With hopes that just like before the people of my country will hear our cries and give their support to my companions and me.

Do not shed tears; I have faith that brighter days await us.

Your son Hossein

Evin Prison

Tuesday, November 7, 2012

The meaning of life for me is being with you

Close, far

Full, hungry

Yearning, joyful

Lest! The moment that is without you

The notion of my death

In your honor, by your side

Is the expression of your life

And the meaning of love

In the long run

With you, always with you, living for you

Oh land of mine!

~Fereydoon Moshiri



Hossein Ronaghi & mother

Hossein Ronaghi’s mother has launched a hunger strike

Committee of Human Rights Reporters – Hossein Ronaghi’s mother Zokheila Mousavi started a hunger strike on Tuesday August 20th, in support of her son and in protest of her son’s situation being ignored by the ruling apparatus. Hossein Ronaghi, who in the past days was inflicted with bleeding in his kidneys and gallbladder while held behind bars, is now on his 14th day of hunger strike.

In an earlier interview Mrs. Mousavi had stated, “Hossein started a hunger strike on Friday August 9, but no matter how much we follow-up, the judicial authorities give us no answers. If they continue to ignore us, and keep my son behind bars in the next few days I will also launch a hunger strike in front of the prosecutors office and maybe this way somebody will hear our voice.”

Seyed Ahmad Ronaghi Maleki, the father of this human rights activist said in an earlier interview with CHRR shared his son’s dire physical situation. He said that despite the fact that specialist physicians had ordered Hossein Ronaghi to receive proper post-op care in a suitable environment for recovery, the ruling apparatus refused to comply and sent his son back to prison. He also said that Hossein now suffers from gastrointestinal bleeding and has been vomiting, yet medical furlough has been denied.

Hossein Ronaghi, blogger and Internet activist who is one of the founding members of Iran Proxy – a group that bypassed Internet censorship with proxy servers – was violently arrested on December 13, 2009 at his parental home in the city of Melikan located near Tabriz and was transferred to Ward 2A in Evin Prison [under control of IRGC]. Hasan Ronaghi Maleki, Hossein’s brother was also detained at that time despite the fact that he had not engaged in any political activities. Hasan was tortured and used as a tool in an attempt to intimidate his brother. For over10 months Hossein Ronaghi was held in solitary confinement in Evin’s Ward 2A which is under the jurisdiction of the IRGC. He was subjected to intense psychological abuse and physical torture in efforts to coerce him into making a false televised confession, which he refused.

On December 1, 2010 Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court presided by judge Pir Abassi handed Hossein Ronaghi Maleki a 15-year prison sentence. Among his charges were “membership in Iran Proxy”, “insulting the leadership”, and “insulting the Islamic Republic.” In 2010 Hossein Ronaghi went on 2 hunger strikes in protest of prison conditions and the mistreatment of prisoners. His mother also went on a 2-week hunger strike to voice her support for her son.

On August 22, 2012 Hossein Ronaghi who had been on medical leave from prison was detained along with his father and brother, Ahmad and Hasan Ronaghi Maleki, and 33 other volunteers and social activists who had gone to the aid of earthquake victims in the province of Azerbaijan.

Ronaghi received a 2-year prison sentence handed on the charge of “gathering and collusion against national security” in the Azerbaijan earthquake zone. Per a ruling handed down by Branch 112 of the Tabriz Public Court, he was also sentenced to 6 months in prison on the charges of “endangering public health through distribution of moldy bread,” and “disobeying an officer.” With the additional rulings, the total sentence for Hossein Ronaghi Maleki increased to 17.6 years in prison.

This is the second time that Hossein Ronaghi’s mother Zokheila Mousavi has launched a hunger strike in support of her ailing son in prison. There is great worry for Hossein Ronaghi’s condition in consideration to the fact that other political prisoners have lost their lives while on hunger strike. Hoda Saber was a Meli-Mazhabi political prisoner who suffered a heart attack while on hunger strike and lost his life due to the lack of medical care in the prison facility.

Despite the very grave health of Hossein Ronaghi and his insistence on continuing his hunger strike, the Tehran Prosecutor, the IRGC Intelligence unit, and security apparatus insist on keeping him behind bars. They have insisted that Ronaghi Maleki be denied medical furlough stemming from his human rights activities while he was previously out of prison on medical release.

Zoleikha MousaviCHRR




Hossein Ronaghi’s mother: Judicial authorities are ignoring my son’s dire situation

Zoleikha Mousavi in an interview with Kaleme while expressing her worry said, “Hossein started a hunger strike on Friday August 9, but no matter how much we follow-up, the judicial authorities give us no answers. If they continue to ignore us, and keep my son behind bars in the next few days I will also launch a hunger strike in front of the prosecutors office and maybe this way somebody will hear our voice.

On Sunday Seyed Ronaghi wrote a letter from Ward 350 to his former cellmate Abolfazl Abedini who had been illegally transferred to Ahvaz prison 2 weeks prior and is still on hunger strike. In it he said, “I know that our determination and perseverance will cultivate the future children of this land. I am therefore unable to stand in the way of your protest and your conviction. I can’t tell you to think of your own health and your own life when in these arduous days you have no companion by your side that can be your voice. We are waves that are lacking tranquility.”

According to Kaleme in his letter the activist while expressing his support for Abolfaz Abedini said, “I am launching a hunger strike in protest of those in charge ignoring the health of political prisoners, the lack of medical needs for jailed political prisoners who are sick, the relentless pressure on my family, the arbitrary transfer of innocent political prisoners, the placement of political prisoners in inhumane environments, holding some political prisoners behind bars incommunicado, and the continuation of illegal and violent engagements.”

About two weeks before writing the letter, Kaleme had reported on Abedini’s transfer from Evin to Karoon prison. Abolfaz Abedini testified before the magistrate investigating the cause of death of blogger Sattar Beheshti while in the custody of the police force. Abolfazl Abedini who had been assured of no repercussions for his testimony was suddenly transferred from Evin prison to Karoon prison in Ahvaz. He immediately launched a hunger strike in protest of his illegal transfer and announced that he would stay on hunger strike until his return to Evin prison.”

Hossein Ronaghi Maleki’s mother discussed the illegal control of their phones due to the family talking to media outlets. “Since the day Hossein launched his hunger strike they constantly shut off my and my husband’s phones to prevent us from talking about our son’s situation. Is this type of illegal behavior acceptable? If foreign television and media outlets do not get in touch how do we carry our voices to those in charge? They have left us no option. If they give us permission, we will talk to media outlets within Iran and discuss our grievances, but they do not allow us.”

Zoleikha Mousavi said her son’s physical state is not good.  “Hossein is on his 7th day of hunger strike and still we have not been able to obtain his needed medical furlough. Hossein is very sick and he has a lot of physical issues that must be dealt with. We are extremely worried about him because he has kidney disease, he has bladder inflammation and prostate disease, he has gallstones and ulcers – and under these conditions he is on hunger strike.”

She said, “His father went to visit him on Monday and Hossein shared that his kidneys are bleeding. His father said Hossein was very week and did not have the energy to speak. Hossein’s physical state is not good but he insists that he will not break his hunger strike. It has become the norm that judicial authorities with no value for the lives of political prisoners completely ignore their situation. I ask the judicial authorities to follow-up on this situation of Hossein and other prisoners the same way they would their own children. I ask why my must innocent youth spend years of their lives behind bars in prison?”



4/Hossein Ronaghi