Worries Grow Over Health Of Jailed Iranian Activist Ronaghi

By RFE/RL's Radio Farda

The family of Iranian activist Hossein Ronaghi is concerned over the civil rights leader's health condition after he was arrested during the recent protests rocking the country over the death of a 22-year-old woman while in police custody.

Hassan Ronaghi wrote in a tweet on October 14 that officials have kept his brother "in prison without his medicine, with broken legs and a sick body while he is vomiting blood.”

Ronaghi had his leg broken by prison officers, according to journalist Masoud Kazemi, while Ronaghi's mother has said her son told her he had been injured by guards.

Security agents stormed Ronaghi's house and arrested him on September 22 as he was giving an interview to the London-based Iran International TV.

Hours later, Ronaghi announced in a video message that he had managed to escape the security agents and would turn himself in to the prosecutor's office of Evin prison in Tehran on September 24.

"If I am arrested after going to the prosecutor's office, I will go on a hunger strike from that moment," Ronaghi said in his video message.

Ronaghi followed through with his promise and went to the Evin prison prosecutor's office, where he was violently apprehended, even though he showed up on his own volition.

The arrest came amid anti-government protests over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was taken into custody by morality police for allegedly improperly wearing a head scarf.

Many high-profile activists, rights advocates, and intellectuals -- including Majid Tavakoli, Fatemeh Sepehri, and Arash Sadeghi -- have been arrested during the protests amid a harsh police crackdown that rights groups say has seen more than 200 people killed.

Written by Ardeshir Tayebi based on an original story in Persian by RFE/RL's Radio Farda