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Iran: British charity worker’s health in decline

Her daughter’s passport was confiscated and she has stayed with her grandparents since Nazanin’s arrest. 

Last month her appeal was rejected by the courts. 

Nazanin was able to see a specialist doctor at the Iranmehr Hospital in Tehran. 

She is back in prison now, but the doctor had expressed concern about her neck, shoulder, right arm and right hand. The neurologist advised that she be immediately hospitalised to prevent permanent damage.

Years ago, Nazanin had an operation on her back and she had intensive physiotherapy on her neck and shoulder after the birth of her daughter.

Nazanin is suffering from extreme insomnia which is getting worse. She feels panicky and is having trouble dealing with the inescapable pressure she is under. Physical conditions are difficult too – she has to sleep on a stone floor. She also cannot exercise and has only been given poor quality of food. 

She also has to deal with the torment of being separated from her daughter and the knowledge that there are threats against her family, including interrogations.

Her husband, Richard Ratcliffe was able to speak to Nazanin on Saturday – the first time in a month. He said that she was crying and in a very fragile state. 

“She cried for the entire call. Nazanin’s fragile health this weekend has been a reminder that we must continue to campaign, that we cannot allow many more months of this to pass. I am grateful that Nazanin has now been seen by a specialist, and that her health concerns can be addressed as soon as possible. I hope that his concerns are acted upon by the Iranian authorities – and that she does indeed not suffer any permanent physical damage from this ordeal. The psychological is already more than enough.”

He also said that the terrible conditions in the prison are making his wife’s health even worse. 

“It is clear that the move to the general cells is much better – I am thankful for the support offered to her by her fellow cell mates, for the additional visits Gabriella now has to see her mum, and for the increased medical attention Nazanin receives. However, it also means we have a greater awareness of just what Nazanin is going through, and of the price she is continuing to pay the longer this is unresolved.”


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