August 28, 2013 - Updated on January 20, 2016

Blogger and mother on hunger strike, both could die

Reporters Without Borders condemns the deadly indifference of Iran’s most senior judicial authorities for refusing to release Hossein Ronaghi Malki, a jailed blogger who is gravely ill and who today began his 20th day on hunger strike in protest against his detention and his prison conditions. Malki’s mother, Zolikha Mosavi, has also been on hunger strike for the past eight days to protest against the inhuman way her son is being treated. “This human rights defender has been unjustly detained for the past four years and, in view of his determination to continue the hunger strike, the Iranian authorities must make a humanitarian gesture and release him,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We hold judicial authority chief Sadegh Amoli Larijani, Tehran prosecutor Abas Jafari Dolatabadi and justice minister Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi responsible for the lives of Malki and his mother.” Malki, who began his hunger strike on 9 August, now weighs only 52 kilos and is reportedly unconscious for much of the time. Arrested on 13 December 2010, he continues to serve a 17-year jail sentence although he has undergone several kidney operations and is in very poor health. After being granted parole in order to seek treatment, he was returned to Tehran’s Evin prison on 22 May. His family is very worried but is powerless in the face of the authorities’ refusal to relent. His father demanded Malki’s right to adequate medical treatment in an open letter to the judicial authorities on 1 August. His mother, who has heart problems, told the BBC’s Persian language service: “I have begun this hunger strike to make my plea heard. I want my son to be granted medical parole. If they want to kill him, let them execute him. But it is inhuman to leave him in agony and pain.” In an open letter to the Tehran prosecutor today, 41 detainees in Evin prison’s Section 305 voiced deep concern about Malki’s “critical condition” and condemned the “irresponsibility of the judicial and prison authorities.” Reporters Without Borders is publishing the results of an examination of Malki’s kidneys nearly a year ago that shows how alarming his condition is. This human rights defender is in urgent need of adequate medical care.