Jailed Iranian cleric Mohammadreza Nekounam is suffering from health problems, and the special court for the clergy refuses to let him to be hospitalized.

Mohammdreza Nekounam

Mohammdreza Nekounam

The Kaleme website reported on Saturday April 23 that prison food has had an adverse effect on Nekoonam’s blood pressure and he is in serious danger of having another stroke, like the one he suffered while he was in solitary confinement in Qom Prison.

Doctors have called for special meals to be prepared for the jailed clergyman, but prison authorities have refused to make such accommodations, which according to Kaleme puts him at immediate risk of another stroke.

Nekounam was arrested after he reacted to statements by Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi declaring high-speed internet service was “haram” (religiously forbidden).

Nekounam responded saying: “While we have been choking the internet and keeping the speed of our internet at the level of a wagon, children even before entering school work with the internet and computers. I say instead of becoming snails, we should jump on this train and go global. Internet is a power. If you can’t use it, just leave it and go. This gentleman cannot use the internet and turns around and says it is haram.”

While Makarrem Shirazi has denied filing any complaints against Nekounam, he was arrested and, in a closed courtroom, was sentenced to five years in jail.

Nekounam was released last year after he suffered a stroke but then was rearrested after once again expressing his opinion about the violence used to enforce the Islamic dress code (hijab) in public.

He is reportedly being subjected to further pressure through the denial of all privileges such as family visits.