Some followers of dissident Iranian cleric Ayatollah Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi say his health has further deteriorated in prison, RFE/RL’s Radio Farda reports.
Boroujerdi, who supports the separation of religion from the state, was arrested in October 2006. One year later, he was sentenced to 11 years in prison on charges including “enmity with God” and “spreading propaganda against the regime.”
Since Boroujerdi’s arrest, his supporters say they have been under pressure and are often threatened, detained, and prosecuted.
Roya Eraghi, a follower of Boroujerdi who is currently living outside Iran after being released from prison on bail, told Radio Farda on July 4 that due to severe pressure and torture in jail Boroujerdi has developed several afflictions, including a heart condition.
She added that Boroujerdi has also lost vision in one eye but has not been allowed to leave prison to receive medical treatment.
Abbas Tabatabai, another follower of Boroujerdi who left Iran after being arrested in 2006 and later released, told Radio Farda that the cleric’s supporters are facing various charges.
Tabatabai said he had been charged with “enmity with God,” acting against Iran’s national security, and espionage for Israel.
In 2010, Boroujerdi wrote an open letter to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, holding him responsible for the extensive violation of human rights in Iran.
The letter says 30 years ago Iranian people were deceived into believing that the Islamic regime was going to be based on “independence, freedom, republicanism, and piety.”
But now people no longer want to maintain this political system, he said.
Boroujerdi concluded his letter by calling for a “free referendum” in Iran “directly supervised by UN observers.”
Family members of Boroujerdi wrote a letter last year to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asking him to intervene in the jailed cleric’s case. The letter stated that they were deeply concerned about Boroujerdi’s health at that time and the inability for him to receive proper medical care.