Hossein Ronaghi Maleki

Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, a detained Iranian human rights activist, has called on the head of the Iranian judiciary to prosecute the officials who beat him and other aid workers last month at a relief camp for earthquake victims in northwestern Iran.

The Kaleme opposition website reports that in a letter to Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, Ronaghi writes: “the officials violated Article 23 of the constitution by questioning our political beliefs and also violated Article 32 of the constitution by arresting us and holding us in a Tabriz security detention centre without stating the charges against us, while subjecting us to severe beatings during the arrest.”

Thirty volunteer aid workers were arrested more than a month ago, after they set up a camp in Eastern Azerbaijan for victims of the earthquake that rocked the region in August. While some were released on bail, others including Ronaghi Maleki remain in custody.

Ronaghi Maleki writes: “I believe that our efforts were humane and right and I continue to defend aiding people for which I am ready to lay down my life. I refuse to remain silent in the face of the injustice the aid workers have been subjected to until a fair judge stands up for our rights.”

Hossein Ronaghi Maleki was arrested during the 2009 elections protests for publishing his critique of the government on his blog. He was reportedly held in solitary confinement for more than 300 days. He has been sentenced to 15 years in jail and was on sick leave on bail when he was arrested in the aid camp in Eastern Azerbaijan.