Tag Archives: Ward 350

Hossein Ronaghi’s Father Describing Evin’s Visiting Room Today: Everyone Was Crying. They Have Beaten Our Children

Following is an interview by the opposition site Kaleme with the father of imprisoned blogger Hossein Ronaghi Maleki after today’s visit in Evin with his son:

Mr. Ronaghi, today was the weekly visiting day for Ward 350 prisoners, did you visit your son? did you see your son?

Currently we are in front of Evin prison. I did have a visit with Hossein. The families of the political prisoners are by the gate outside of prison. They threw everyone out. There is no information about 20-25 prisoners who were injured and taken outside of the prison. Their families are here outside without any information. They had beaten my son, they beat him in the stomach.

Did your request for follow up from the Parliament members have any results?

Yesterday we met the Parliament members. Mr. Motahari was supposed to come here and see for himself, but unfortunately no one has come yet.

Is it clear who was responsible for the attack on the Ward 350 political prisoners?

The order for the attack came from Colonel (Faezi?). They savagely beat our children. He has threatened to do it again. The lives of our children are in danger.

Did the prisoners say this themselves, because the Prisons Bureau has completely denied this attack? What did the prisoners exactly tell you?

They sent a number of plainclothes forces and told them to beat our children. I saw my son; he said their lives are in danger. I plead and ask for help from all people, all the institutions, and whomever that could help. Our children’s lives are in danger. We must do something before something horrible happens. I ask the Representatives and MP Motahari to take immediate action.

How were you and the families of the political prisoners were treated by the officials today?

They threw us out of and currently we are standing outside of the prison. We are surrounded by guards. The family members are upset, everyone is crying. The families came here today and saw their children having been beaten. The conditions here today was pretty horrible.

Source: Kaleme

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Where is Arash Sadeghi? Amid Controversy Fate Of Arash Sadeghi Remains Uncertain

Arash Sadeghi

Allameh Tabatabaei university student activist Arash Sadeghi was first arrested July 09, 2009, during the suppression of post-2009 presidential election events. He was released without being charged after 50 days in solitary confinement .

Sadeghi was re-arrested December 2009 after the mass street protests of Ashura. He was later released on March 16, 2010.

After his release, Sadeghi was informed by his lawyer, Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabaei, that Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court, presided by Judge Pirabbasi, had sentenced him to 6 years imprisonment on charges of: “Propaganda against the establishment, and assembly and collusion with intent to act against the national security”.

Arash did not report to Evin for the implementation of his sentence. For this reason, agents attempting to arrest him, raided his home on October 26, 2010 at 4:00 AM. The shock of this raid caused Arash’s mother to suffer a heat attack. She died four days later in the hospital.

After this event, Arash Sadeghi reported to Evin on 21 December 2010. During this incarceration, according to eye witnesses that were his cellmates, Sadeghi was tortured severely, trying to force him to formally announce that the death of his mother had nothing to do with the 4:00 AM raid of their home.

At the time, in an interview his father said, “One of the cruelest tortures that Arash suffered was the interrogator pulling out his body hairs one by one. He had fallen unconscious many times by being slapped so hard over and over, and had suffered a broken tooth.”

Former political prisoner Payman Aref who was Sadeghi’s cellmate at the time, told Deutsche Welle, “When they brought Arash to Ward 350, he had a broken collarbone and could not raise his right arm.”

A year later, on December 14, 2011, Arash was released from prison.

Last Arrest:

On January 5, 2012 the Green Voice of Freedom site reported the arrest again of Arash Sadeghi. Five days later, Saham News site reported that Arash had contacted his grandfather from Evin telling him he is in Ward 209.

On May 4, 2012, independent reporter, Masih Alinejad conducted a phone interview which was published online. In this interview, Sadeghi’s father said that Arash’s grandfather had visited Arash at Ward 209 visiting room, and said he had lost a considerable weight and his head was shaved. According to Payman Aref, a number of families of political prisoners had attested to seeing Arash’s grandfather in the visiting room.

On June 7, 2012 Arash’s grandfather was arrested after giving an interview to the press informing them that Arash had launched a hunger strike in support of political prisoner Hossein Ronagi. He was released after five days in detention.

In June of 2013 reports came out that Arash had launched a hunger strike, in protest of being beaten by prison guards.

After this news, Amnesty International and 3 of the European Union MPs released statements voicing concern over Arash Sadeghi’s situation.

Start of rumors and concerns:

According to reports, Arash Sadeghi’s family has neither had a visit or a phone call from him since May 2012.

The Prosecutor General and Judiciary Spokesman, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejee, during a press conference on September 9, 2013, in response to a question about Arash Sadeghi, said, “It has been said that this person has launched a hunger strike in Evin prison, but such a person was not in Evin on 2011 nor on 2012. Of course, in 2009, a person with this name was arrested and sentenced to one year imprisonment and was released after serving his time. But even if there was a similarity in name, such person was not in Evin in 2011 or 2012.”

This was the first time that a Judiciary official made any comment regarding Arash Sadeghi. After the comments by Ejee, two different opinions formed in the online community. One opinion believes that, based on this statement made by the Judiciary official, Arash is not in prison and his family must be asked abut his whereabouts.

A source who claims to be Arash’s close friend and who wishes to remain antonymous told Deutsche Welle that, “Their opinion (the first group), is not only based on the comments made by Ejee, but because there has been some dishonesty and inconsistency in the past, therefore we can conclude that part of the truth is not being revealed.”

According to this source, after his first arrest Arash Sadeghi, had said he was a member of Central Council of the Islamic Society of Allameh Tabatabei University which was subsequently denied by the secretary of the Society. Also, he had claimed he was majoring in philosophy but later it was found out that his major was Arabic literature.”

He also said the worst of these inconsistence issues was regarding Arash’s sentence, he said, “Arash and his family told everyone that he had received a 6 year imprisonment sentence. However, after he received his official notice of his sentencing, all his cellmate saw was that he was actually sentenced to one year imprisonment and five years suspended sentence, and he was released from prison after serving his one year.”

But former political prisoner Payman Aref who was in prison at the same time as Arash has a different version to tell. He told Deutsche Welle that, “The lower court had given Arash a six year imprisonment sentence, and his lawyer was informed of this sentence (not formally). Based on this Arash said he was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment.

Arash finally reported to Evin December of 2010 after the death of his mother. Being under the impression that he was under a six year sentence, and due to the trauma of loosing his mother, was suffering from depression, and he did not request an appeal on his case.

Based on the fact that he had no access to a phone, and his lawyer Mr, Tabatabaei did not come to visit him in prison, Arash was not aware of the Court of Appeals ruling in his case.

The Court of Appeals upheld the 6 year sentence. However, it did change it to one year imprisonment and five years suspended sentence. According to Arash’s interrogators, they showed mercy because of his mother’s death and changed his sentence. Two weeks prior to the end of his one year imprisonment sentence was when Arash finally found out about the Appeals Court’s ruling. This was the entire story and there was no lying on the part of Arash.”

The hunger strike in prison and release from prison story:

The person who claimed to be Arash’s close friend has another reason for considering Arash’s story not to be true, and that is the news about his hunger strike and falling unconscious due to his hunger strike.

Regarding this matter, Payman Aref said, “If he is talking about Arash’s hunger strike protesting the death of Haleh Sahabi, I do confirm that he was on hunger strike at the same time as I was. He even became very ill during his hunger strike and vomited all the content of his stomach right there in the middle of the Ward and there was nothing but fluid and there was no food particles in his vomit.

Regarding his falling unconscious, I must say that was a certain political group’s plot to ruin the reputation of Arash. He told me to ask my wife to deny this news, which I did. If he has spread this false news about himself then he would have not asked me to deny the news on his behalf.

The other point that the person claiming to be Aresh’s close friend makes, is about his release from prison in 2010. He says, “We were informed by one of the people who had been released from Ward 350 about Arash’s release date. That night and three other consecutive nights we were by Evin’s door waiting to congratulate Arash on his release. But on Friday when we were there waiting for his release we found out that Kaleme site had reported he had already been released.

Two days later Arash sent me an SMS (text message) saying that he had already been released but did not have my number to inform me earlier. He said he had not gone to his home but had gone to stay with his grandfather.”

And here is Payman Aref’s account of Arash’s release in 2010: “I myself went to Evin to welcome Arash, I had myself informed all the people that had gathered in front of Evin. December 15, 2010 was the date that Arash was scheduled to be released. I myself was in Ward 350 of Evin with Arash from November 30, when I was arrested at the Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery until December 11, 2010.

Four days prior to Arash’s release, I went to Court and subsequently was released that same night. After my release I informed everyone of Arash’s sentence having been reduced to one year imprisonment, and also gave the date of his release which was to be December 15 (four days after my release).

December 15 was a Thursday. On that day, I and a number of other people went to Evin and waited for him but he was not released.

Apparently, the night before his scheduled release date at 10:00 PM, in the cold of a December night they had released Arash.

Because Arash’s father had distanced himself from him over the death of his mother, and also had changed his residence, Arash had no place to go and also did not have any money.

He started walking on foot on Imam highway towards the south. He walked all night long so he would not freeze in the cold of the night. He then went to the Khaneh Honarmandan park (the Artists park), a place which held lots of memories for him. He was under the impression that his grandfather had also banished him.

Finally, tired and hungry, he decided to try his luck at his grandfather’s home. Fortunately his grandfather welcomed him with open arms.

After two days of waiting by Evin for Arash’s release (Thursday and Friday), I and the others decided to contact his father. He told us he had no news about Arash. Finally we found out through Arash’s uncle that he had been released and was staying with his grandfather.”

Payman Aref stresses that, Arash was released on Wednesday December 14 at night time from Ward 350 and not from solitary confinement. With 200 political prisoners at Ward 350 wishing him farewell, there is absolutely no doubt about this matter.

Arash Sadeghi’s father is in the military and lives in army provided housing. Previously speaking with the media, he said he had been summoned by the Army Intelligence many times and was threatened not to have any contact with Arash. Otherwise, he would be discharged from the military, his salary would be cut off and he would lose his housing privilege.

Deutsche Welle’s efforts to contact Arash Sadeghi’s father and his former lawyer have been to no avail.

After calling Arash Sadeghi’s father’s home for several days, a woman finally answered the phone. She first said that Arash’s father was out of town. Then she said that we are all out of town now and our phone has been redirected to the place where we are.

Arash’s former lawyer Alizadeh Tabatabaei’s cell phone was turned off each time Deutsche Welle tried to contact him.

Currently several campaigns have launched asking the question “Where is Arash”. Most of these campaigns are targeting the Iranian Intelligence and Judiciary system for answers considering their terrible history of kidnapping, arbitrary arrests and imprisonments.

And yet another group continues to be of the opinion that Arash’s family must be held accountable for giving answers in this case.

What is certain is that no one has seen Arash Sadeghi since May 2012.

Source: DW


Ward 350 Political Prisoners: We Are Witnessing The Gradual Death Of One Of Our Cellmates

15 political prisoners incarcerated in Evin Ward 350 have written to Chief Judiciary Ayatollah Amoli Larijani voicing their concernm and warning him about the dire health condition of on-hunger strike political prisoner Hossein Ronaghi Maleki.

Hossein Ronaghi was arrested on December 13, 2009, during the unrest that followed the disputed presidential election of 2009. His arrest and sentencing to 15 years imprisonment, were on charges of: Spreading Propaganda Against the Establishment, Insulting The Leader and the Head of the Government , and membership in the internet group (Iran Proxy).

Ronaghi was also sentenced to an additional 2 1/2 years imprisonment for involvement in the Sarand camp earthquake volunteer workers’ case.
He suffered severe kidney damage during interrogations, and has undergone surgery several times. Hossein launched a hunger strike on August 28 protesting the officials disregard for his health condition and failure to transfer him to a hospital for proper treatment.

One week after Ronaghi started his hunger strike his mother, Zokaikha Mousavi, also launched a hunger strike protesting the Judicial authorities neglecting her son’s situation.

Following is the text of their letter as provided to the Kaleme website:

In the name of the Almighty,

Along with the countless suffering that we are faced with in prison, recently, we are witnessing the gradual death of our cellmate, Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, whose candle of life is bit by bit melting down.

He suffers from a multitude of illnesses. He has gone under 7 kidney operations during the 4 years that he has been imprisoned. Each time, his condition after the surgery was considered successful. But, due to his return back to prison, and the lack of facilities essential for his treatment in prison, he regressed back to pre-operative status, or even worse.

Due to lack of in-prison treatment, and as the last resort available to him, he launched a hunger strike more than 25 days ago, which has aggravated his condition.

On August 24, Hossein was taken to Hasheminejad hospital, where after examination by their physicians for his kidney problems, hospitalization was recommended. Also, on August 28, he was taken to Modares hospital with gastrointestinal problems. There also, after examination by doctors, immediate hospitalization was recommended.

Despite objections by the doctors, the accompanying agents prevented his hospitalization and returned him back to prison.

The result of the doctors’ examinations and recommendations from Hasheminejad hospital, along with his previous medical files, were sent to the medical examiners office. The medical examiners office forwarded their recommendation to the district attorney’s office on August 28.

The medical examiners office has several times previously notified the district attorney’s office about Ronaghi’s grave health situation. But, despite his dire health condition and the dangerous worsening of his condition, the officials have made no attempt to hospitalize him. Instead of acting responsibly, they seem to be acting in spite of this patient.

Once, the officials, in response to his complaint told him, and another time told his father that, at most, he will die in prison and, after few days of media noise, everything will end and become quiet.

Unfortunately, this approach is from the people in an organization, under your management, that claim are enforcing Islamic laws and Divine justice.

Currently Mr. Ronaghi suffers from the following conditions as listed in his medical records:

– Kidney failure and obstruction of the ureter

– Infections and blood in the urine

– Enlargement of the prostate and bladder inflammation

– Stomach and digestive tract bleeding

– Cardiac angina, extreme low blood pressure, and high heart rate

Mr, Amoli Larijani.

You are well aware that according to Sharia and legal regulatory requirements, and the Bureau Of The Prisons rules and regulations, medical treatment is an obvious right of an ill prisoner and providing it is the responsibility of the prison officials, the officials at the district attorney’s office and the Judiciary Branch, and delay in providing it has religious and legal liability.

We give warning, serious warning, that the life of a man in Ward 350 is in danger, and with much worry and concern we announce that this warning letter may soon become a new witness statement.

We strongly urge you, before it’s too late, and a human life is sacrificed for the ignorance and negligence of officials at the district attorney’s office, to act immediately, for tomorrow may be too late.

The signatories:

Amir Khosro Dalirsani

Mohamad Davari

Alireza Rejaei

Sayad Ahmad Hashemi

Saeed Madani

Mohsen Mirdamadi

Abdollah Momeni

Sayd Alireza Beheshti

Ghorban Behzadnejad

Emad Bahavar

Mohamad Amin Hadavi

Masoud Pedram

Ali Khodabakhsh

Mohamad Hassan Yousefi

Source: Kaleme