Concerns Grow Over Ronaghi's Health After Iranian Activist Moved To Hospital

Concerns over the health of Iranian hunger-striking activist Hossein Ronaghi have risen after he was transferred to a hospital in Tehran from the notorious Evin prison where he is being held.

Prison authorities informed Ronaghi's family late on November 13 that they had transferred him to the Dey General Hospital. Many people gathered in front of the hospital and the surrounding streets and chanted slogans supporting the activist.

Videos published on social media showed security officers disperse the gathering. Gunshots can be heard, although it is not clear where they came from. Some reported tear gas was lobbed at the crowd.

Iranian judicial authorities said on November 14 that Ronaghi's health was "stable" and rejected reports that the 37-year-old had been physically injured prior to hospitalization and that he had required resuscitation on arrival.

"Ronaghi's general state of health is stable and he will soon be released from hospital," the judiciary website Mizan Online reported.

"The decision to send him to a hospital outside the prison on [November 13] was made to avoid any possible deterioration in his clinical condition and for him to receive additional treatment," the website said.

Ronaghi was arrested during recent protests that are rocking the country 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, or hijab.

Reports say Ahmad Ronaghi, Hossein's father, suffered a stroke last week in front of Evin prison while asking about his son's condition and needed to be hospitalized for several days.

Last month, in an interview with RFE/RL's Radio Farda, Ronaghi's father said prison officials threatened to kill his son if he gave an interview to foreign media.

Iran's judicial authorities have yet to comment on the reports or Hossein Ronaghi's condition.

On November 10, Ronaghi's sister, Sakineh Ronaghi, said Hossein told her on the phone that his kidneys had developed hydronephrosis due to the hunger strike and that he could not walk because of the torture he has suffered at the hands of interrogators.

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. He's been on a hunger strike since being detained.

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