Tuesday, 7 June 2016
Blogger and pioneering anti-censorship activist Hossein Ronaghi Maleki was released on temporary medical leave on 4 May. He suffers from major health conditions and was assessed in April by a state forensic institute as being unfit to serve his prison sentence. Despite this, he will be forced to return to prison in July if his leave is not extended.
Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, 30, was released on temporary medical leave on 4 May after the Office of the Prosecutor finally approved a 30-day leave from prison on medical grounds. He was told verbally at the end of May that his medical leave had been extended by another 30 days but that he must return to prison at the end of this period. On 26 April the Legal Medicine Organization of Tehran (a state forensic institute) assessed his medical condition and issued a written statement, saying that he was not in a fit state to be imprisoned. Despite this, he will be forced to return to prison at the beginning of July if his leave is not extended by the Office of the Prosecutor. Prior to being granted leave, he had gone on hunger strike on 26 March in protest at the Evin Prison authorities’ refusal to allow him access to his medication, as well as his continued imprisonment. He had been taken to a Tehran hospital on 5 and 9 March for tests, including an examination by an orthopaedic doctor for his back pain, but was returned to prison without receiving adequate treatment on either occasion. He was also not allowed to attend a hospital appointment for a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan for his spine.
Hossein Ronaghi Maleki suffers from several serious medical conditions, including kidney disease, and gastro-intestinal, bladder, heart, chest, and spinal problems. Some of his medical problems appear to have developed whilst he has been in prison. His health has deteriorated as a result of poor prison conditions and ongoing denial of adequate specialized medical care. He has only one functioning kidney and needs constant monitoring and regular specialized medical care that is only available outside prison. The prison authorities have also at times withheld his medication which has resulted in the further deterioration of his health. Due to his gastro-intestinal condition, he requires a special diet, which is unavailable in prison.
Hossein Ronaghi Maleki is a blogger and pioneering activist against on-line censorship who was sentenced to 13 years in prison for establishing the first ever popular, widely used proxy server in Iran and for his writings on his blog. He was convicted following an unfair trial of charges including “insulting the Supreme Leader” and “spreading propaganda against the system”. After his arrest, he was held for 13 months in solitary confinement in Section 2-A of Evin Prison, under the control of the Revolutionary Guards, where he says he was tortured.