Iranian Political Prisoner Goes on Hunger Strike To Protest Denial of Health Care

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Prisoner of conscience Hossein Ronaghi Maleki has been on a wet hunger strike since March 26, 2016 to protest being denied medical care for his kidney disease, according to his mother, Zoleikha Mousavi.

“We had a face-to-face meeting with Hossein in Evin Prison on March 27. He told us that he had started a hunger strike and would not stop until they pay attention to his condition,” Mousavi told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. “I’m tired of seeing my son go on hunger strike several times a year to get medical treatment. I want him free.”

“For the past seven years, on Mother’s Day, my son has been in prison. I beg all the authorities, the Revolutionary Guards and the Judiciary, to free my sick son,” she added.

“His kidneys have been having problems for seven years. The authorities will have to deal with more problems if he stays in prison like this. It’s enough to imprison a young man for seven years. As a mother I plead with you to free my son. It’s enough,” she said.

Political prisoners in Iran are singled out for particularly harsh treatment, which often includes denial of medical care, in direct violation of Iran’s own laws and prison regulations.

Mousavi also told the Campaign that since her son returned to prison following a short medical furlough more than two months ago, he has been repeatedly denied health care for his ailments, despite frequent requests by Maleki and his father, Ahmad Ronaghi Maleki.

Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, 30, was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2009 by Judge Yahya Pirabbasi for his peaceful activities following Iran’s widely disputed 2009 presidential election.

He was charged with “acting against national security” and “supporting and receiving money from foreign organizations.”

He has endured several medical emergencies during his imprisonment for kidney, digestion and lung complications that required surgery and hospitalization.

“I’m really worried about my son’s condition,” Ahmad Ronaghi Maleki told the Campaign in January 2016. “He’ll never get well this way. Let him come out and recover by his family’s side.”

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