Iranian blogger and activist Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki is turning 30 on July 4. But it’s an unsettling time for him and his family. Despite serious health issues, the Iranian authorities could come for Hossein at any time from now. Take Action to prevent this happening.
Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for his work as a human rights activist and blogger. The young Iranian, who suffers from kidney problems and other critical health issues, was given a medical furlough on June 17, 2015. Despite the serious nature of his health problems, the authorities told Hossein to return to jail immediately by the end of June.
His mother, however, has insisted that he be allowed to stay at home until after his birthday on Saturday July 4, 2015. But the authorities could storm his home at any time, leaving the family anxious and concerned for Hossein and his health. Prior to his arrest, Hossein had been suffering from kidney problems but his conditions worsened further while in prison due to physical abuse and a lack of medical care.
Hossein and his brother Hassan were arrested in the aftermath of the disputed presidential election of 2009. Both were taken to Evin Prison and put under intense physical and mental pressure with the goal of signing a confession. His brother, who was not politically active, was arrested in order to put added pressure on Hossein to confess. Hossein was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment.
In September 2014 Hossein was released prematurely. Due to his poor health conditions, it was thought that he would not live to serve out his sentence. But soon after his release, he was re-arrested in early 2015 and sent to Ward 8 of Evin Prison.
According to Hossein’s father, Ahmad Ronaghi-Maleki, the authorities took him for no reason: ”No matter how many times I tell them that he has been pardoned — and the prosecutors know this — they will not listen,” he said in an interview with IranWire in March 2015.
He also expressed big concern for the treatment of his son in prison: “They want to turn him into another Sattar Beheshti,” he said. Beheshti was a blogger and activist who died in 2012 while in custody.
Journalism in Iran is a dangerous, and often life-threatening, profession. Since the start of modern media and Iran’s Constitutional Revolution in 1905, Iranian governments have systematically intimidated, imprisoned, tortured and killed journalists for exercising their fundamental right to freedom of information and expression. Journalism Is Not A Crime documents cases where journalists are unfairly arrested, and aids reporters and their loved ones by providing legal and psychological help to those affected.
Read more about Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki and show your support by adding a comment to his profile.