News : Women
- Published: Wednesday, 17 July 2019
By INU Staff
INU - The British-Iranian charity worker wrongfully imprisoned on spying charges in Iran, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, has now been transferred to a mental health ward, her husband said.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 40, was arrested in April 2016, falsely charged with spying, and later sentenced to five years in prison. She had been visiting family in Iran for the Iranian New Year with her baby daughter Gabriella.
Her husband Richard Ratcliffe said that she was moved from Evin prison to the mental ward of Iman Khomeini hospital, in Tehran, and is under the control of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRGC); a US designated terror group. She has not been allowed to contact her family since.
Before the transfer, Zaghari-Ratcliffe told relatives: "I was healthy and happy when I came to Iran to see my parents. Three and a bit years later and I am admitted to a mental health clinic. Look at me now, I ended up in an asylum. It should be an embarrassment. Prison is getting harder and harder for me. I hate being played in the middle of a political game. I just hate it."
Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s father visited the hospital on Tuesday, but was not allowed to see her.
The Free Nazanin Campaign released a press statement, saying that it is not known what treatment Zaghari-Ratcliffe is receiving or when she will be released.
The transfer comes just weeks after Zaghari-Ratcliffe latest hunger strike of 15 days, in protest to her "unfair imprisonment".
Ratcliffe also went on hunger strike, while camped outside the Iranian Embassy in London, which helped him raise attention about his wife’s case and attracted over 100 MPs to personally visit him to show support.
Ratcliffe said he will be following up with the new prime minister to ensure he takes personal responsibility for Nazanin's case.
Earlier this year, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt Zaghari-Ratcliffe diplomatic protection.