Blogger Returned to Prison Two Days After Surgery
Prison authorities returned imprisoned blogger Hossein Ronaghi Maleki to Evin Prison only two days after his kidney operation, despite his physician’s orders for medical furlough. Ronaghi’s mother told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that this is the fourth time he has been transferred to a hospital during his prison term.
“His doctors wrote that he should go on medical leave. His father is now in Tehran to pursue his furlough,” Ronaghi’s mother, Zoleikha Mousavi, said.
Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, 26, was arrested on 13 December 2009. In October 2010, Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced him to 15 years in prison, which was later upheld by an appeals court. Ronaghi has been suffering from kidney and liver problems for months. He had submitted several requests and written letters to the Tehran Prosecutor for a review of his conditions and his transfer to a hospital, the texts of which have been published in news websites.
“Finally last week his transfer was set. His father and I had gone to Tehran together, and we were there for two days,” Mousavi said. “They told us, ‘Come and wait at the hospital, we will bring him,’ but they didn’t bring him. Exactly on Thursday, 19 December, when we had returned to Tabriz from the 10-hour trip, they called us from the prison and said that Hossein was transferred. We returned back to Tehran again. On Saturday he was operated on and on Monday he was returned to prison.”
The doctor’s orders state that Hossein Ronaghi Maleki should be transferred back to the hospital in 15 days in order to be re-examined.
“The Tehran Prosecutor has written a letter to Judge Pirabbasi asking for bail orders so he can go on medical furlough. But we have been told that the IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] would not allow Hossein to be granted leave. We will now have to see whether Judge Pirabbasi will grant him leave or not,” Mousavi told the Campaign.
“Why don’t they respect a sick person? We said, ‘Let us take Hossein home and when he is better, he will return to prison.’ But they won’t allow it; they think I’m lying. They say the IRGC won’t allow it,” the imprisoned blogger’s mother told the Campaign. “I swear to God, Hossein was so pale. He had become so thin. He was nervous. He has suffered so much inside the prison. I am a mother. This upsets me,” Mousavi continued.
After visiting Ronaghi recently, Mousavi said, “Hossein doesn’t say much, but he said this time, ‘Mom, I haven’t stepped outside for fresh air or exercise since September, because it’s really cold there.’ He had kidney pain, too. Another prisoner told us how cold it is in Evin.”
“What has Hossein done for them to treat him like this? Of course they don’t just treat my son like this, they treat all sick prisoners in the same way. The Medical Examiner has confirmed Hossein’s illness. They went to prison and examined him and said that he must go on furlough, but they won’t allow it. We said we would accept whatever bail amount is said. Why do they treat people like this? Is it right for all these sick people to remain in prison in this cold weather?” she added.
Regarding her visits with her son in the hospital, Mousavi said, “He didn’t have handcuffs and footcuffs this time. But an officer and two soldiers were watching him all the time.”