Imprisoned Blogger Continues Hunger Strike; Father Writes to President and Supreme Leader
Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, a prisoner of conscience on hunger strike in protest of his prison conditions since August 9, was transferred to Shahid Modarres Hospital on Wednesday, August 28, after his health deteriorated. The prisoner’s father told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that he did not accept intravenous feeding nor breaking his hunger strike.
Ahmad Ronaghi Maleki, who is extremely concerned about his son’s condition, told the Campaign, “Hossein was taken to the hospital on Wednesday because he was bleeding from the stomach and they wanted to hook him up to an IV, but Hossein told them, ‘Nnder no conditions will I break my hunger strike, unless I am given medical leave for treatment. I am losing my kidneys but you have brought me here so you could break my hunger strike with the use of an IV.’ Unfortunately, he was not brought to the hospital for his kidneys but because his condition had deteriorated during the hunger strike. Hossein was in the hospital until the evening and then he was taken back to the prison. After that day, we have heard no information about his conditions and, unfortunately, we are not allowed to have phone contact with him in prison.”
Asked about the authorities’ response to his pursuit of medical leave for his son, Ahmad Ronaghi Maleki said: “I have only been able to see Mr. Khodabakhsh, Tehran’s Deputy Prosecutor. Sometimes he says that the IRGC does not allow the medical leave, then at another time he says Hossein’s ‘case analyst’ [interrogator] does not allow it, and some other times he says, ‘I won’t authorize the leave myself.’ I told him the last time, ‘I kiss your hand. I kiss your feet. I am losing my son. Don’t let me lose my son.’ But, unfortunately, he does not give me any answers, and he is just using his power.”
Hossein Maleki’s father told the Campaign that he recently wrote a new letter to Tehran’s Prosecutor, Jafari Dolatabadi. “Up to now, I have written letters to the Tehran Prosecutor, the Head of the Judiciary, and even to the Supreme Leader and to [President] Hassan Rouhani, pleading for help to give my son medical furlough. I do not know who else is in charge. They do not give me an answer. I do not know where to go and whom to tell my pain. I was in Tehran for 35 days to pursue Hossein’s affairs, but I didn’t get a resolution, and finally my son was transferred to the hospital under dire conditions.”
About his wife’s condition, who has also been on hunger strike in their home in Tabriz in protest of her son’s situation, Ahmad Ronaghi said, “She is not well and is in bed. I do not know what to do.”
Following the 2009 presidential elections, Hossein Ronaghi Maleki was arrested on December 13, 2009, and was later sentenced to 15 years in prison for “membership in the Iran Proxy Internet group,” “propagating against the regime,” “insulting the Supreme Leader,” and “insulting the President.” His kidneys suffered serious damage during his interrogations and he has had several surgeries since then. Hossein Ronaghi Maleki has been on hunger strike since August 9, in protest of the authorities’ lack of attention to his health conditions. The prisoner’s mother previously told the Campaign that a prison authority had told her son, “Go on a hunger strike! What could happen? It will take a few days, and then you will die, and the whole thing will be over in a few days later.”