Please help us spread the word and assist this desperate mother in applying pressure on the Iranian regime to free her innocent son, Hossein.
Wednesday October 13th, 2010- In an interview with Roozonline, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki’s lawyer confirmed that he has been sentenced to 15 years in prison and convicted of the following crimes: membership in an internet group Iran Proxy, propaganda against the regime, insulting the supreme leader and insulting the president. Zoleykha Mousavi, Ronaghi-Maleki’s mother informed Roozonline that Ronaghi-Maleki’s sentence was broken down as follows: 10 years prison sentence for membership in online group Iran Proxy, 1 year prison for propaganda against the regime, 2 years prison for insulting the supreme leader and 2 years for insulting the president.
Hossein Ronaghi-Maleki blogged under the pen name Babak Khorramdin. He was arrested on the December 13th, 2009 in Malekan and has been held in section 2A of Evin’s IRGC ward since the date of his arrest. Despite the fact that Ronaghi-Maleki’s trial took place in the lower court and a verdict was issued, according to his family, he is still being held in solitary confinement. Mr. Dadkhah, Ronaghi-Maleki’s lawyer who was informed of the verdict three days ago made the following statement regarding the heavy sentence rendered: “The reports by Intelligence Ministry agents, statements by a number of individuals, and certain supposed confessions by Mr. Ronaghi-Maleki were stated as the evidence used against him.” According to Mr. Dadkhah, Ronaghi-Maleki’s lawyer, even though all charges were dismissed in court, inferences by the Ministry of Intelligence agents, resulted in an indictment and subsequent sentence.
Dadkhah added: “They claim that Ronaghi-Maleke was a member of an internet group called Iran Proxy and that this group actively worked against the Islamic Republic. This while the evidence in the case file only contained a few reports by by the Ministry of Intelligence claiming that my client was a member of Iran proxy and that he had confessed to this fact himself. In reality there are no credible legal or judicial documents proving these claims.”
Ronaghi-Maleki’s lawyer added “I received notice of this verdict three days ago and will definitely appeal the sentence.” Dadkhah referred to his client a a true Iranian asset stating: “One of the most important assets of every country is its human capital, integral to the success, advancement and further development of a nation. Mr. Ronaghi-Maleki is one such asset and the judicial system should be progressive and aligned with the best interests of the country rather than act in a vengeful manner. His interrogators claim that Mr. Ronaghi-Maleki is a member of Iran’s intellectual elite, and yet they have kept him in solitary confinement for over 10 months, without granting him the conventional human rights afforded to every prisoner. They themselves have stated on page 500 of his case file that they are dealing with an outstanding individual. If that is the case, then they should be dealing with him in an entirely different manner. He should be living in prosperity and peace, with the ability to be creative so the country can take advantage of his abilities and creativity. I have brought this to the attention of the judge in charge of this case on numerous occasions but he has unfortunately paid no attention to it.”
305 Days in Solitary Confinement
Zolykha Mousavi, Ronaghi-Maleki’s mother reiterated her firm belief to Roozonline that her son’s sentence is illegal. She added that Hossein has been in solitary confinement for 305 days even though he has not accepted any of the charges against him.
Mrs. Mousavi stated: “Hossein was sentenced to 10 years prison for his membership in an online group called Iran Proxy, one year prison for propaganda against the regime, two years prison for insulting the supreme leader and another 2 years prison for insulting the president. This sentence is illegal. We don’t accept this sentence. Hossein has rejected these charges. They never allowed him to read the verdict and he was beaten and pressured to sign it.” Mrs. Mousavi who has not been allowed to meet with her son since July said the following of her short telephone conversation with Ronaghi-Maleki this past day: “They neither allow us to meet with our son, nor do they allow him to meet with his lawyer Mr. Dadkhah. Yesterday when Hossein called he said that he has written a letter to his lawyer Mr. Dadkhah and given the letter to the prison officials, but he is not aware if his letter will ever be forwarded to his lawyer. Hossein has repeatedly written letters to Tehran’s prosecutor in the past, but they [prison officials] have not allowed the letters to be delivered to the prosecutor.”
Ronaghi-Maleki’s mother added: “When Hossein called he said I was only involved in human rights activities and everyone knows this. Everyone knows that I had no other activities. I have been here for several months, but I have refused to accept any of these charges. I will never accept these charges nor will I accept this sentence.”
Mrs. Mousavi described the pressures on her family as follows: “They told us, you have no right to give any interviews. They came to our house and wanted to arrest Hossein’s father because of the interviews he had given in the past. On October 3rd, 2010 Mr. Satari, in charge of Judge Pir Abassi’s office told me everything you say, is reported back to us and you have no right to talk. He threatened me and in response I told him that I am a mother and if need be, I will speak about my son when ever it is necessary and I cannot keep my mouth shut; to which he responded: “Your son deserved the death sentence.””
Rongahi-Maleki’s mother was very distressed by the improper treatment her family had endured at the hands of Satari, in charge of Judge Pir Abbasi’s office and added: “Parviz Sohrabi, Satari’s nephew and Haj Mehdi Satari, Satari’s brother came to our residence in the city of Malekan on two occasions; once on August 28th and another time on October 1st, 2010.” She added: “Mr. Satari had sent them. They came and spoke with Hossein’s father. They requested something of Hossein’s father that he would not agree to, after which they rendered this verdict and sentence.” Mrs. Mousavi would not elaborate on what these individuals requested of her husband. She only emphasized that her family is under immense pressure but that she cannot say more regarding this subject.
Mrs. Mousavi added: “My husband and I have not even been allowed to meet with the judge in charge of our son’s case file. We complained to Mr. Satari regarding this matter. His response to us was as follows: “The judge’s comments are not important to us. We are the ones who make decisions.” Mr. Satari said a lot of things to me, things that were shocking and unexpected. I am a mother and my son is as dear to me as my life.”
Mrs. Mousavi informed Roozoneline of the fact that her son is continuing her hunger strike and stated: “A few days ago someone we didn’t know contact us and told us that Hossein had started a hunger strike from the day they forced him to sign his verdict. After telling us this news, he hung up. Hossein had called us twice prior to that, but had not mentioned anything about a hunger strike. This time when he called I asked him about it and he confirmed it. He didn’t feel well. His voice was very weak. He didn’t have any energy. I am so worried about my son. Whom can I talk to about all this injustice towards my son? It has been 10 months, exactly 305 days that my child is in solitary confinement. They have put the worst kind of pressures on him in order to force him into a false confession and television interview. They told him if you give a television interview we will release you from prison. They even asked us. They told us to ask him to give a television interview, but both his father and I told Hossein not to do such a thing. I told him that he is the apple of my eye and if anything happens to him I would die, but that his honor is more important than anything. They blindfolded him several times and tired to get a false confession out of him, but he refused to cooperate.”
Ronaghi-Maleki continues in solitary confinement, despite the fact that the court issued a USD 29,000.– bail on August 16th, a bail amount that was guaranteed by Rohaghi-Maleki’s family. He was not only not released but the bail was removed and he was once again incarcerated. Mrs Mousavi added: ” They said that the IRGC wrote a letter insisting that Hossein not be released. They stated that the letter was from the IRGC in Azarbayjan. They then asked me to post bail and I responded that I won’t do that until they guarantee that my son will be released. Mr. Satari’s response to me was ” You are Turks and we have a weakness when it comes to Turks…. we won’t allow your son to be released!””
Ronaghi-Maleki’s mother concluded: “We are under extreme pressure here. My son is innocent! For the love of God, please tell everyone. Please write about him, so that your voice reaches the prosecutor, the Minster of Intelligence and the Head of the Judiciary. Let everyone know what they have done to us and what they continue to do….”