“My Son is Under Pressure to Participate in Televised Confessions,” says Activist’s Mother
In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Zoleikha Moussavi, mother of blogger Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, discussed her son’s poor prison conditions. She told the Campaign that her son has been under immense pressure in prison to participate in televised confessions. Moussavi said that her son has stated he is a human rights activist and has not committed any crimes. “During his last telephone call, he told me that the food he gets is so bad he is not able to eat it and so he has not been eating for a while,” she said. “So, where are the human rights organizations? Why won’t they go visit the prisons to see how the prisoners are kept, what kind of food they are served, and how they are maintained?,” Moussavi added.
Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, who uses the pen name “Babak Khorramdin,” is a blogger and human rights activist. He was arrested eight months ago and spent a long time in a solitary cell inside Ward 2-A under the oversight of the Revolutionary Guards. His family has only been able to see him on four occasions. The family’s last meeting with him on 13 July 2010 seriously worried them. “I am a mother. I understand that my son’s conditions are not good. I can tell that he is not well. He suffers from kidney pain. During the visit, I noticed that his face is a little crooked now. He said, ‘There is nothing wrong, I have a toothache, so they injected me with two morphine shots,” Moussavi said.
Ronaghi Maleki went on a hunger strike on 25 May 2010 to protest his conditions in prison. Moussavi protested as well, “I didn’t eat for five days, either. I went to Tehran and I said I won’t eat until I see my child. They finally gave me a visitation permit on 26 June 2010. I ate and went to see him on the sixth day. When we left the prison, I couldn’t stand it any more. I started crying and Hossein’s father broke down, too. We sat on the steps and they came and reprimanded us for sitting there. I told them ‘Look, his father’s not feeling well.'”
“It was his birthday. I wrote a letter and no matter how much I begged them to get the letter to him, they didn’t accept it…Mr. Dadkhah and Mrs. Sabaghian are his lawyers. They have only been able to see him once during this time. His case was forwarded to court three months ago, but his lawyers have not been able to see his case file,” she added.
“He calls us now and all he does is ask us how we’re doing. But he did say that he is under immense pressure for a television interview. He said he was transferred blindfolded to a different location. He said they told him to give the interview but he didn’t accept, because he says that he hasn’t done anything wrong, saying, ‘I am a human rights activist and I have not committed any crimes,'” she added.
On 15 March 2010, Kayhan Newspaper published an article in which Maleki was accused of serious charges including “accepting money from Western countries,” “helping political figures escape Iran,” and “heading political gangs,” among other charges.