News : Human rights

Amnesty: Iranian blogger denied medication in prison

Iranian blogger Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, a prisoner of conscience, has been on hunger strike since 26 March in protest at the prison authorities withholding his medication, Amnesty International has said. 

His health is failing and doctors have advised against stopping his specialized medical care, which he cannot receive in prison, the human rights group warned in an Urgent Action appeal on 1 April to its supporters.

The following is the text of Amnesty International’s Urgent Action:

Date: 1 April 2016

URGENT ACTION

HOSSEIN RONAGHI MALEKI ON HUNGER STRIKE

Iranian blogger Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, a prisoner of conscience, has been on hunger strike since 26 March in protest at the prison authorities withholding his medication. His health is failing and doctors have advised against stopping his specialized medical care, which he cannot receive in prison.

Iranian blogger Hossein Ronaghi Maleki has been on hunger strike since 26 March in protest at the Evin Prison authorities withholding his medication, and his continued imprisonment. He has several illnesses, including kidney disease, gastro-intestinal, bladder, heart, and chest problems. He has only one functioning kidney and needs constant monitoring and regular specialized medical care outside prison. He has also been complaining of back pain. He was taken to a Tehran hospital on 5 and 9 March for tests, including an examination by an orthopaedic doctor, but was returned to prison without receiving adequate treatment on either occasion. He was not allowed to attend a hospital appointment for a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan. His health has deteriorated from being kept in prison, in poor conditions, without adequate medical facilities to treat him, and being denied the specialized care he needs continually. His health is so poor that even the prison doctors have advised that he needs to be treated outside prison. Hossein Ronaghi Maleki’s parents have travelled from their home in the city of Malekan, near Tabriz, East Azerbaijan province, to follow up on his case with the authorities, including a meeting on 27 March with the Office of the Prosecutor in Tehran. Their repeated requests for help have so far been ignored.

Hossein Ronaghi Maleki had been arrested on 13 December 2009 and sentenced to 15 years in prison after an unfair trial, in which he was convicted of “membership of the internet group ‘Iran Proxy’”, “insulting the Supreme Leader” and “spreading propaganda against the system” in connection with articles on his blog. After his arrest, he was held for 13 months in solitary confinement in Section 2A of Evin Prison, under the control of the Revolutionary Guards, where he has said he was tortured and otherwise ill-treated: this included severe beatings by his interrogators, which apparently have contributed to him developing several medical conditions. He was pressured to make televised “confessions”. He was told in June 2015 that his sentence had been reduced to 13 years.

 

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