Imprisoned Blogger Embarks on Hunger Strike
Zoleykha Mousavi, mother of imprisoned blogger Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that since the start of her son’s hunger strike on 9 December he has been in very poor condition.
Mousavi told the Campaign that when she and her husband went to Tehran to visit their son on 12 December, he did not come to the visiting room at first. She told her husband that something must have happened to him, since he is usually the first prisoner to appear during visitation time.
“An officer told us that Hossein embarked on a hunger strike two days ago and would not be able to come to the visiting area. We did not leave until his cellmates told him that we were waiting. He finally came to see us but he did not feel well and had lost a lot of weight.”
Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, 26, was arrested in December 2009. In October 2010, Branch 26 of the Revolution sentenced him to fifteen years in prison, which was later upheld by an appeals court. Ronaghi has been suffering from kidney and liver problems for a long time.
Despite requests by the prison doctors for Ronaghi’s immediate release and treatment, the Prosecutor’s Office of Tehran has denied such permission.
“I am a mother and since I saw him in that condition, I am not feeling well. I do not know why they don’t permit a furlough, and let him get the necessary treatments,” said Mousavi.
Ronaghi’s mother told the Campaign she is extremely concerned about her son’s condition. “I asked him why he went on a hunger strike and reminded him of his kidney problems; he told me not to worry but they do not believe that he is sick.”
Ronaghi has written several letters to Tehran’s Prosecutor General in order to call attention to his condition. Following one such letter, he was severely beaten by prison officials and sent to the prison infirmary.
Upon starting his hunger strike, Ronaghi sent another letter, stating:
Mr. Jafari Dowlatabadi, on the eve of the second year of my arrest on 13 December 2009, and in protest to the rejection of the permit for my medical leave, I have embarked on a hunger strike. In numerous letters I have brought to the attention of your excellency, several concerns such as my own kidney problems, the sentencing and interrogation system, the failure to provide a copy of the lower court verdicts, the conditions of ill prisoners, the uncertainty of their situation, the pressures imposed upon them and their families, detentions, solitary confinements and the failure of implementation and compliance to the current laws of the country. Today, due to the lack of results from these letters, I will continue my objections in the current method.
“I think that the Revolutionary Guards do not allow the Prosecutor’s Office to give him permission to leave on furlough. His father is still in Tehran and has written another letter to the Prosecutor’s office.” added Mousavi.