Ronaghi Maleki, writing under the name Babak Khorramdin, discussed politics on a series of critical blogs that were eventually blocked by the government. He was also a founder of the anti-censorship group Iran Proxy, which was launched in 2003.
In October 2010, a Revolutionary Court sentenced Ronaghi Maleki to 15 years in prison on anti-state conspiracy charges, the reformist news website Jonbesh-e-Rah-e-Sabz reported. The first year of his term was served largely in solitary confinement, his defense lawyer, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
Ronaghi Maleki’s family said the journalist was in poor health and developed severe kidney problems, according to the campaign. In May 2011, Ronaghi Maleki was transferred in hand and ankle cuffs to a hospital where he underwent kidney surgery, the campaign reported. He was hospitalized in custody again in October 2011, when he underwent additional kidney surgery, the Human Rights House of Iran reported.
In February 2012, a Revolutionary Court refused to grant a medical furlough that would have allowed Ronaghi Maleki to seek independent kidney treatment, reformist news websites said. After Ronaghi Maleki posted a US$1 million bond in July 2012, the court agreed to release him so he could undergo surgery, according to reformist news websites. He was placed back in Evin Prison in September 2012, although follow-up treatment had yet to be completed, according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
In September 2013, Ronaghi Maleki began waging a hunger strike and refused medication, demanding that he be allowed medical furlough, according to the human rights campaign.