Jailed British-Iranian Aid Worker Moved To Psychiatric Ward

Clay Curtis
July 19, 2019

Richard Ratcliffe said on Wednesday that his 40-year-old wife Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is now in the mental health ward of Iman Khomeini hospital in Tehran.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested in Iran while traveling with the couple's young daughter in April 2016 and has been sentenced to five years in prison after being accused of spying, which she denies.

Last month Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her husband ended a two-week hunger strike created to push for her release and raise the profile of her case.

A spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said the United Kingdom was extremely concerned about the welfare of Zaghari-Ratcliffe and wants to see her released.

Her family and the foundation, a charity organisation that operates independently of Thomson Reuters and Reuters News, deny the charge.

Concerns have always been raised over her health and welfare and she is believed to have been moved to hospital on Monday and her father claims she has been not allowed the opportunity to speak to or be visited by her family.

She was arrested in April 2016 as she was leaving Iran after taking then 22-month-old Gabriella to visit her family.

She was sentenced to five years in jail for allegedly trying to topple the Iranian government.

Ratcliffe said that his wife's father attempted to visit her to check on her condition but was not able to.

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Mr Ratcliffe said: "Nazanin hoped that her hunger strike would move the Iranian authorities, and it clearly has".

Nonetheless, after her father became as soon as refused procure entry to to discuss over along with her in health facility and even allowed a cellular telephone name, the family has grown increasingly extra concerned. Blood test results have been witheld, and husband Richard - who himself went on hunger strike outside of the Iranian Embassy in Knightsbridge - said he was not confident they would ever be released. "It is unnerving when we don't know what is going on", he said.

"I am glad her dad has been down there to keep vigil outside".

Ellie Kennedy, Amnesty International UK's individuals at risk campaigner, said: "Yet again, the fear must be that the Iranian authorities are playing games with Nazanin's health and well-being".

Mr Ratcliffe added that he would follow up the case with the next prime minister.

Earlier this year, foreign secretary and Tory leadership hopeful Jeremy Hunt granted Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe diplomatic protection in a bid to resolve her case.

In 2016, a United Nations working group said it considered Zaghari-Ratcliffe to have been arbitrarily detained.

"We urge Iran to allow family members to visit her and check on her care".

He has repeatedly said the responsibility for her continued detention lies with the Revolutionary Guard. She has previously been referred for psychiatric treatment, but it is not now known what her care on a mental health ward at the Iman Khomeini hospital in Tehran is like. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.

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