Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

Promoting tolerance and justice through knowledge and understanding
Amnesty International

Blogger and Activist Re-arrested in Iran

Amnesty International
August 30, 2001
Appeal/Urgent Action

On 22 August 2012 police and plain-clothed security forces reportedly attacked a relief camp offering supplies for earthquake victims and arrested blogger, Hossein Ronaghi Maleki and human rights activist, Navid Khanjani, along with dozens of other volunteer relief workers and activists. After the arrests, the security forces shut down the camp. According to reports. the arrests happened at 11pm and the detainees were blindfolded and taken to the Tabriz Ministry of Intelligence facility for questioning.

On 24 August, Hossein Ronaghi Maleki was transferred from the Ministry of Intelligence facility to Section 1 of Tabriz Prison. He has been charged with “distributing unclean and non-hygienic goods” and is reported to have been tortured during questioning. He was reportedly beaten so severely in the kidney area that the wound from a recent surgery haemorrhaged. Despite this, he has been refused medical care and has not been allowed to take his medicine. There is great concern that Hossein Ronaghi Maleki’s physical health is now rapidly deteriorating. .

Navid Khanjani had been awaiting a summons to start serving a 12-year sentence after an unfair trial, when he was also arrested at the relief camp. He was also transferred to Section 1 of Tabriz Prison and charged with “distributing unclean and non-hygienic goods”.

Although most of those arrested have now been released, Hossein Ronaghi Maleki and Navid Khanjani are among those still detained and have both been on a dry hunger strike since 25 August in protest against their arrest and detention. On the afternoon of 25 August both men were taken by Ministry of Intelligence security officers from Tabriz Prison to an unknown location and have not been heard from since.

Please write immediately in Persian, Arabic, English or your own language:

Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Hossein Ronaghi Maleki and Navid Khanjani as they are being held solely for their activism and humanitarian work;

Calling on the Iranian authorities to reveal their whereabouts, to ensure they are protected from torture and other ill treatment, and that they are allowed access to their families and lawyers of their choosing

Calling on the authorities to ensure that Hossein Ronaghi Maleki receives all adequate medical attention.


Leader of the Islamic Republic

Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei�The Office of the Supreme Leader�Islamic Republic Street – End of Shahid�Keshvar Doust Street, �Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran�Email: [email protected] �Twitter:

@khamenei_ir #freemaleki #freekhanjani

Salutation: Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary

Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani

[care of] Public Relations Office

Number 4, 2 Azizi Street intersection

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: [email protected]

Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:

Secretary General High Council for Human Rights

Mohammed Javad Larijani�c/o Office of the Head of the Judicary�Pasteur St, Vali Asr Ave

South of Serah-e Jomhouri�Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran �Email: [email protected]

(Subject line: FAO Mohammad Javad Larijani)�

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:

Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.




Authorities in Iran have stressed that aid must be handed to officials responsible for the distribution of relief supplies in the areas affected by the East Azerbaijan earthquakes. However, many volunteers from Tehran and other cities have taken to coordinating their own relief efforts for the victims of the earthquakes because of a lack of trust in the way Iranian authorities have handled relief operations.

After their arrest, all the detainees went on a dry hunger strike and sent an open letter addressed to the head of the judiciary, Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, stressing that their presence in the East Azerbaijan province was solely to provide and distribute relief supplies to earthquake victims.

Prior to his recent arrest on 22 August 2012, Hossein Ronaghi Maleki had been released on 2 July after payment of bail of 10 billion Rials (approximately US$815,000). He had been sentenced to 15 years in prison after an unfair trial in 2010 on charges including “membership of the [illegal] internet group ‘Iran Proxy’”, “spreading propaganda against the system” and “insulting the Leader and the President”, apparently in connection with articles he posted on his blog, 14 Tir. He returned to his blog on 5 July 2012, and wrote, “After 32 months of not writing on my blog, I have come today . . . pen in hand and write to say that I am feeling well because my mother’s face is fresh [with happiness] and she does not cry”.

Before his arrest on 22 August 2012, Navid Khanjani was at liberty awaiting a summons to start serving a 12-year prison sentence. He was a member of both the Committee for Human Rights Reporters (CHRR) and the Association to Oppose Discrimination in Education (AODE) and was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment on 31 January 2011. His sentence was upheld on appeal and confirmed by Branch 54.of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran on 10 August 2011. His lawyer was only informed 14 days later.

Navid Khanjani had been arrested in Esfahan on 2 March 2010. He faced an unfair trial on 20 December 2010 in Branch 26 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court. He was apparently sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment in connection with his work with the AODE; and five for his work with the CHRR. An additional three years were said to have been handed down for “creating unease in the public mind”, and “propaganda against the system”. Navid Khanjani was eventually sentenced to 12 years imprisonment after the court supposedly applied "Islamic mercy".

Torture and other ill-treatment is common in Iran, particularly during interrogation when detainees are routinely denied access to a lawyer and are often held incommunicado.

For further information, see From Protest to Prison: Iran One Year after the Election, Index MDE 13/062/2010, June 2010, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/062/2010/en and Iran: Election Contested, Repression Compounded, Index MDE 13/123/2009, December 2009, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE13/123/2009/en

Name: Hossein Ronaghi Maleki and Navid Khanjani

Gender m/f: Both m

UA: 254/12 Index: MDE 13/060/2012 Issue Date: 30 August 2012