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Members of the Global Iranian Political Prisoner Advocacy Program Renew Call for Release of Dissident

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Senator Mark Kirk (US), Hon. Irwin Cotler (CA), MP Denis MacShane (UK), MP Michael Danby (AU), MP Fiamma Nirenstein (IT) and MP Emanuelis Zingeris (LT), members of the Global Iranian Political Prisoner Advocacy Program, today called for the immediate release on medical leave of jailed Iranian blogger, Hossein Ronaghi Maleki, who is suffering from severe kidney disease and is in urgent need of extended medical care. Ronaghi Maleki has been serving an unjust sentence in Evin Prison, Iran since his arrest in 2009.

"We stand in solidarity with Mr. Maleki and urge the Government of Iran to immediately release Maleki for full, independent medical treatment," the co-chairs said. "Maleki's unjust treatment is one of many examples of the Iranian regime's brutality. The Iranian Government must be held accountable for its gross violations of human rights."

Maleki, a blogger and human rights activist in Iran, was arrested in 2009 and sentenced to 15 years in prison for articles published on his blog. Maleki has suffered from severe kidney disease since his imprisionment, and his condition reportedly worsened in recent days due to mistreatment by prison authorities. Maleki's left kidney is reportedly failing, which requires immediate medical attention and ongoing treatment. Iranian authorities have refused to grant Maleki extended medical leave despite calls from the international community and his fellow political prisoners. Maleki also began a hunger strike in protest against his detention conditions.

The Global Iranian Political Prisoner Advocacy Program, formed by Kirk and Cotler last September, works to combat the Iranian Government's widespread and systemic violations of human rights.

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