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    Posted May 25, 2012 by
    Tehran, Iran

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    Systematic Killing of Political Prisoners in Iranian Jails!


    Deprivation of Medical Care Jeopardizes Political Prisoner’s Life

    Hossein Ronaghi Maleki in Dire Condition Serving 15-Year Prison Term

    Father Says Months-long Torture Caused Kidney Failure

    (25  May 2012) The Iranian Judiciary should immediately provide medical care  for political prisoner Hossein Ronaghi Maleki and avoid another human  tragedy, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said  today. It should also end its systematic policy of denying medical care  to prisoners of conscience, thereby causing them permanent physical  harm and disability, the Campaign added.

    On 19 May 2012, Ronaghi began  a hunger strike to protest the denial of his medical furlough. Ronaghi  suffers from kidney failure and has been routinely denied medical  furlough since his incarceration.

    “This  is the fifth time he is undergoing surgery and all physicians,  including the Medical Examiner, have ordered special medical care for  him post-operation,” Ronaghi’s father, Ahmad Ronaghi Maleki, told the  Campaign. “But they want Hossein to return to prison after his surgery, a  prison that has no medical facilities, suitable nutrition, nor kidney  specialists.”

    “Using  medical attention as leverage to bring prisoners to their knees is a  shameful and inhumane practice, which Iranian intelligence has been  using repeatedly,” said Hadi Ghaemi, spokesperson for the Campaign.  “Prisoners’ health conditions should not be compromised under any  circumstances.”

    The  Campaign has collected firsthand testimonies of purposeful deprivations  of urgent medical care for prisoners of conscience. In situations where  prisoners are allowed to seek medical treatment at hospitals, prison  officials sometimes insist that they remain shackled even during  examinations such as x-rays and scans. These shackles render the scans  technically impossible, and therefore medical staff often cannot perform  proper examinations for these prisoners.

    “For  months, my son underwent torture by his interrogators, until he lost  one of his kidneys,” Ahmad Ronaghi told the Campaign. “I have a  complaint against my son’s interrogators, the IRGC officials, and Judge  Pirabbasi, who issued my son’s ruling,” he added.

    Ronaghi’s mother told  the Campaign in April 2012, “They want Hossein to accept his charges  and write a confession letter before they allow him leave. They told us  several times that the IRGC does not agree with his release unless he  confesses.”

    Ronaghi’s lawyer, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, told the Campaign in  February 2011, “According to the law, if authorities who control the  prison do not take action to protect his health and remain indifferent  they can be prosecuted in criminal court.”

    The  Campaign has documented some cases in which prisoners, after receiving  permission to seek treatment and securing a date for their surgery, are  returned from the hospital to prison just before the date of their  scheduled surgery for completely unjustified reasons, rendering them  unable to undergo the surgery.

    “My  son was healthy when they took him to prison. His kidneys failed like  this under torture. My son’s life is now in danger. I demand that he is  immediately granted furlough after his surgery. Otherwise, my son will  remain in prison and if anything should happen to him, the IRGC  authorities, his interrogators, and all those officials who did not use  their authority [to help him] will be accountable to the world,” Ahmad  Ronaghi said.

    The  Campaign views this continuous trend as part of a systematic and  planned policy of the Judiciary, prison authorities, and intelligence  services to cause permanent harm and disability to these prisoners of  conscience through medical problems.

    “The  officials’ treatment of Ronaghi bears a striking resemblance to Hoda  Saber’s case, and I sincerely hope it does not end the same way,” Ghaemi  said.

    The Iranian government has a history of deaths in prison. Prominent dissident Hoda Saber suffered  a heart attack in prison in June 2011. Saber was denied a hospital  transfer for several hours after his attack. Hospital personnel said his  death could have been averted had he been brought to the hospital  sooner, and officials did not notify his family of his death for two  days.

    Similarly,  just a few days ago on 21 May 2012, prisoner Mansour Radpour died in  Rajaee Shahr prison of a cerebral hemorrhage. Radpour suffered from high  blood pressure and severe depression and needed medical treatment, but  was ignored. He had completed a three-year sentence in 2008, but instead  of being released, authorities charged him for signing a statement from  within prison, and added five more years to his sentence.

    The United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners,  first approved by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 1955,  state that prisoners requiring specialized medical treatment be  transferred to medical institutions if necessary to receive the care  they need.

    Ronaghi  was sentenced in 2009 to 15 years in prison for “membership in the Iran  Proxy internet group,” “propagating against the regime,” “insulting the  Supreme Leader,” and “insulting the President.” His kidneys began  failing in prison.

    While  doctors have examined Ronaghi several times, the Ministry of  Intelligence has repeatedly refused to grant him medical leave. After  each of his surgeries, the Ministry has denied him post-operative care,  instead returning him to prison immediately. As a result, his condition  continues to worsen, since he is unable to heal after his surgeries.

    “Hossein  has said that it is better for him to remain in prison and die, instead  of having an operation and return to prison under those conditions.  Hossein had no choice other than a hunger strike,” Ronaghi’s father told  the Campaign.

    The  Campaign expressed its serious concern that Iranian intelligence and  prison authorities are routinely denying proper medical care to  prisoners of conscience, resulting in severe complications and even  deaths.




    For the latest human rights developments in Iran visit the Campaign’s website

    For interviews, contact Hadi Ghaemi at +1-917-669-5996

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