News : Human rights
- Published: Wednesday, 20 February 2019 22:59
By INU Staff
INU- Iranian prison authorities are denying medical care to a falsely imprisoned British charity worker until she apologises for going on hunger strike in protest to her treatment by the Regime, despite claims from the Iranian ambassador to the UK that she is receiving treatment.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 40, went on hunger strike for three days last month, along with fellow political prisoner Narges Mohammadi, in order to call attention to the fact that the Regime had denied her medical care, even though she had found lumps in both breasts and suffering numbness and pain in her neck, arms, and legs.
Both women ended their strike after the jail agreed to check-up.
When Zaghari-Ratcliffe visited the Iranian Health Commission, a neurologist advised that she was too ill to be in prison and ordered more scans, while another doctor ordered scans on the lumps in her breasts.
However, the head of the prison has blocked these scans and denied Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s request to see a psychiatrist until they receive a written apology from both women for going on hunger strike.
Both women have refused to write the letter.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband Richard Ratcliffe said: “They were outraged by the idea they needed to personally apologise to be given health treatment.”
However, he doesn’t think that Zaghari-Ratcliffe will strike again so soon.
He said: “She is very low. It’s not an act of defiance for her, it’s an act of despair. It’s more the sense of ‘What more can I do?’ She is really clear she can’t go on much longer.”
Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who is serving five years in an Iranian jail on bogus spying charges, had taken her baby daughter Gabriella to meet family in Iran when she was arrested at Tehran airport in April 2016.
She was told by prosecutors that she is being held hostage in order to force Britain to repay money that the Shah had paid for military equipment in the 1970s before being deposed by the current Regime, but neither country has confirmed this.
Gabriella, now four, lives with her grandparents in Tehran and is able to visit her mother whenever the Regime allows, but her passport was seized and her father cannot get a visa, so she is not able to see her father.
During the 40th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution last week, a number of prisoners were pardoned, but Zaghari-Ratcliffe, being a hostage, was not. Her next chance for clemency is the Iranian New Year on March 21, but there is not much hope.
Ratcliffe said: “I think she will keep going until New Year and then heaven help us what happens afterwards. At the moment we are worrying about bringing them both home in March or dealing with the fallout in April.”
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