Hossein Ronaghi Maleki

Jailed Iranian blogger Hossein Ronaghi Maleki is suffering a swift decline in his health in Evin Prison, says the man’s father.

The Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) reports that when Ahmad Ronaghi Maleki last visited the prison, his son was suffering from kidney infection, and prison officials refused to provide the necessary medical treatment. The father of the jailed blogger said: “After receiving news that Hossein had suffered a seizure, we went to Evin Prison, but the head of the prison refused to let us visit him. We informed the prosecutor’s office, and they told us that the reason for the refusal was that he was taking a bath.”

Ronaghi said he currently has no news of his son’s condition except for some tidbits passed on by other inmates. He added that the family’s repeated attempts to visit his son have earned repeated threats that officials will keep him in jail until he dies.

Ronaghi said his son is following a “course of gradual death” and he urged human rights organizations to work toward his release.

Hossein Ronaghi, who blogged under the name of the legendary l9th-century Iranian revolutionary leader Babak Khorramdin, was arrested in the protests that followed the controversial 2009 presidential elections.

He was arrested in Eastern Azerbaijan and, according to his family, was held in solitary confinement for close to 300 days. He has been sentenced to 15 years in prison and the sentence is now being reviewed in the appellate court.

He has suffered from kidney complications since February and was finally hospitalized in June for treatment. He was returned to jail against the physician’s advice following a kidney transplant.

Hundreds of Iranian political and civil activists issued a statement last year calling for the release of Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, so far to no avail.