An imprisoned blogger and online dissident is in grave condition with a kidney infection, and authorities are denying him medical attention.
Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki (pictured) has been imprisoned since 2009 on charges of spreading “propaganda” against the clerical regime and of cooperating with Iranian-based groups that work to defeat the regime’s online censorship. The 24 year-old was condemned to a 15-year prison term.
His father, Ahmad Ronaghi-Maleki, tells RFE/RL’s Radio Farda that Hossein contracted a kidney infection while in solitary confinement, and that officials are not giving him access to doctors or medicine.
The young man is incarcerated in the notorious Evin Prison, which is run by the Revolutionary Guard (IRGC). Last week, five dissidents were secretly executed in Evin Prison.
Authorities are believed to be denying Hossein medical treatment because the blogger has resisted demands that he give a forced, video-recorded “confession.” Such recorded statements are routinely coerced from political prisoners to dehumanize them, blackmail them, and make them break psychologically with their friends and their beliefs.
Former political prisoners who had been held at Evin say that inmates who make such statements are given preferential treatment, while the resisters are punished with solitary confinement, denial of certain rights and privileges such as food and medicine, and otherwise mistreated.