Mohammad Khatami

Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami has appealed to Hossein Ronaghi Maleki to give up his hunger strike out of concern for his health.

In a message posted on the Kaleme website, Khatami expresses grave concern that political prisoners continue to experience serious pressure.

Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, a blogger incarcerated at Evin Prison, has been on hunger strike since August 11, and his mother, Zoleikha Mousavi, has also been on hunger strike since August 18 in solidarity with her son.

Ronaghi Maleki is suffering from serious kidney problems and demands to be transferred to hospital for adequate care.

Mohammad Khatami, who has been advocating for the release of political prisoners, expressed disappointment that the changes in the country’s political scene have not yet translated into the release of political prisoners.

“We expected that with the blessed changes in the country, we would witness the release of political prisoners and see an end to restrictions,” Khatami writes; “but unfortunately many remain incarcerated and deprived of their legal rights.”

Ronaghi Maleki was sentenced to 15 years in jail for running a blog that expressed critical views of the government. More than 120 political activists have written to Iran’s Supreme Leader to draw his attention to Ronaghi Maleki’s critical situation, and his cellmates have warned the head of judiciary about the “gradual death” of their fellow prisoner.