Tehran residents rushed to a hospital Sunday night as news emerged that imprisoned Iranian dissident Hossein Ronaghi had been taken there in a critical condition.
Ronaghi is an Iranian blogger, human rights activist and political dissident who was arrested September 24 along with his lawyers in front of the Evin Prison prosecutor's office and transferred to jail where he was tortured and both of his legs broken.
Ronaghi who has been on hunger strike since his arrest amid antigovernment has refused liquid nourishment and water since Saturday.
Videos on social media show that protesters gathered late Sunday in front of Dey Hospital chanting slogans such as “Death to the Dictator”.
Other videos show police forces firing guns and tear gas to disperse the people gathered in front of the hospital.
People rushed to the hospital after his brother Hassan wrote in a tweet that security agents had moved Ronaghi from prison to a hospital. He said his brother “got on an ambulance fully awake after talking to his mother,” adding “whatever happens to Hossein is nothing more than a pre-planned scenario because they intend to kill him.”
A little later, he wrote in another tweet that agents took Hossein to one of the departments of Dey Hospital adding that they sent out the entire staff and nurses of the ward bringing their own instead.
Following this, the anonymous group called Youth of Tehran's Neighborhoods called on people to gather around Dey Hospital and not let regime forces transfer Ronaghi to an unknown location.
However, based on information received by Iran International, Hossein Ronaghi has been transferred from prison to Sina Hospital in central Tehran.
Reports say he has been at the intensive care unit and cardiac resuscitation was given to him.
Renowned Iranian filmmakers Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof, jailed with Ronaghi in Evin, had already expressed concern for his life, warning he could suffer a heart attack at any moment.
Ronaghi, 37, a contributor to The Wall Street Journal, has for years been one of the most fearless critics of the Islamic republic still in the country.
Last week, the paper published and editorial, defending Ronaghi and assailing his detention, saying government accusations that he acted against national security are false.
“His real offense is calling Western attention, including on these pages, to how the regime violates the rights of his compatriots. Mr. Ronaghi refuses to flee Iran, and he surrendered to authorities on Sept. 24 to spare family and friends from the risk of hiding him.” WSJ said expressing concern over his deteriorating health.
In previous rounds of tortures, the dissident has lost one kidney and his second kidney is functioning at 60 percent, according to human rights sources.
Hossein Ronaghi has been arrested and jailed several times in the past 13 years. He was detained in 2009 for his role in the post-election protests. Ronaghi was arrested again in February 2022 after criticizing a bill that would limit internet access in Iran.