Following is a translation of an interview by ICHRI with father of imprisoned blogger and human rights activist Housein Ronaghi Maleki:
On Monday June 11, 2011, Housein Ronaghi Maleki’s father, Ahmad Ronaghi, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that has heard no news about the status of his son.
The worried father of Housein told ICHRI, “My son’s interrogators have told us before that they will kill him in prison and now they are acting upon what they said”.
“On June 6th, when I went to Tehran from Malekan (a town in East Azarbaijan) to pursue Housein’s case, I received a call from my wife saying she has been contacted from Evin and was told Housein is in poor health and that he was taken to Evin’s medical clinic.”
“Iimmediately, I went to Evin prison, told them I was his father and asked to visit him. They refused to let me see Housein. I told them we have heard he has suffered a seizure, let me take him to a hospital and I will take responsibility for all the financial charges just as I have done before. But they refused.”
“First, they said he is inside the ward, then they said he is taking a shower. I pleaded with them and told them I didn’t want to see him or talk with him, but to please allow him to call his mother and let her hear his voice to lessen her worries. They agreed, but no phone call was made.”
Ahmad Ronaghi continued, “From there, I went to Tehran Prosecutor General’s office and informed them of the situation. They made a phone call to Evin and were told the same thing, that Housein is in the bathroom and he is fine”.
On that same day, I wrote two letters, one I delivered to the Islamic Human Rights office and one to the Tehran Prosecutor General office.
I wrote in my letter that Housein’s life is in danger and if his kidneys get infected once more he will die. I am screaming out loud so the world can hear my outcries.”
According to Housein Ronaghi’s father, in the last couple of months, his 26 year old son has gone under two kidney operations, his left kidney has lost 80% of it’s function and the right kidney has lot 20% functionality.
Ahmad Ronaghi says even in the hospital they continued harassing his son and did not allow proper treatment. He said, “My son was operated on twice in Hasheminejad hospital, they did not allow us to visit him there. They would not even allow the nurses to perform their duties properly, saying that they feared the nurses would aide him to flee.
Housein’s feet and hands were cuffed to the bed and three security agents were at his bed side all the time.
After the first operation, the doctors prescribed one month home rest for him, and after the second operation, they prescribed two months home rest. But unfortunately, a medical furlough was denied and he was taken back to Evin prison each time.
I took all the doctor’s instructions prescribing medical furlough, and a letter by his attorney requesting medical furlough, which is allowed by law, to Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court. But they would not allow me to even go upstairs and did not accept my letter either.”
Referring to threats from Housein’s interrogators, Mr. Ronaghi said, “When Housein was in solitary confinement, his interrogators called us every day and told us that they will kill Housein. They said, they wouldn’t allow Housein to survive and that the Judiciary can not do anything about it”.
“When Housein’s case went to court, they told us that we and his attorney would be allowed in the courtroom during his trial.
But unfortunately neither I nor his attorney were present during his trial, and they tortured and forced him to sign and accept his verdict even though he refused all of his charges.”
Housein Ronaghi Maleki’s father, expressing concern and very worried about his son’s health said, “Hussein was in solitary confinement under the worst conditions for thirteen months. He has lost functionality in his kidneys, has a 17 mm gallstone and is not in a good mental health state”.
Even now, he is under pressure in prison and his life is in danger. When we speak with the media or write letters to the authorities, they put more pressure on him asking him, “Why does your father talk with the media or writes letters”.
Even now that you have called, we are under pressure, because according to them, we should not be talking with you and should let them kill my son.”
Ahmad Ronaghi saying that he and his family are under constant threats and their lives are in danger said, “When I wrote a letter to Judiciary officials about my son’s case, my house was attacked and the attackers attempted to assault me. I filed a complaint and witness statement with the local Judiciary but no one paid any attention to it.
Also one night on my way home they attempted to attack me with an ax but I had a shovel with me and they were not successful in harming me and ran away on a motorbike. I reported this incident to Judiciary also.”
Ahmad Ronaghi Maleki said, “Hear my cries, I plead with the Supreme Leader, the human rights activists in Iran and internationally, the Judiciary officials and Tehran’s Prosecutor General to please allow Housein have medical furlough.
He is a scientist and not a criminal. They kept him in solitary confinement for thirteen months, under the worse conditions, and if we speak up they just put additional pressure on Housein. I plead for help to save Housein’s life. If attention is not paid to this matter Housein will loose his life.”
He added, “We used to have a fifteen minute visit once a week. To visit Housein, we have to travel overnight from city of Makan in East Azarbaijan province. We reach Tehran in the morning, visit with Housein and then travel back to Makan.
They have not allowed him to call us. Next Monday we will again go back to Tehran in an attempt to visit him.
His physicians have said, if he stays in prison, chance of success for his kidney transplant is 5%. They said prison environment is unhealthy for him.
I have taken all the letters and instructions from the doctors to Branch 26 of the Revolutionary court and the prison warden’s office but they would not allow me to give these document to the Judge handling his case.”
Source: International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran
Housein Ronaghi, known by the pen name “Babak Khoramdin”, a blogger and human rights activist, was arrested December 13, 2009. He was tried and sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges of membership in the Internet group Iran Proxy, propagating against the regime, insulting the Leader and insulting the president