Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe taken to prison clinic after ‘blacking out’

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe taken to prison clinic after ‘blacking out’

Jailed British-Iranian charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been taken to the clinic of the prison where she is being held in Iran after she “blacked out”, her husband said.

Richard Ratcliffe said his wife had suffered successive panic attacks and low blood pressure, adding: “We’re clearly very, very worried.”

He said today: “What I do know is that she had a panic attack yesterday in prison and she had another panic attack today, and today she also blacked out, so today she was taken down to the prison clinic and, as far as I know, that’s where she is still.

“I’ve seen reports saying she’s been taken to an external hospital but I haven’t had those confirmed.”

Mr Ratcliffe earlier said Britain's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt had given his wife’s case greater priority than his predecessor, Boris Johnson.

He praised Mr Hunt for being “clear and critical” after his wife voluntarily returned to jail following an emotional family reunion over the weekend.

The mother was released from Evin prison in Tehran on Thursday and stayed with family outside the capital.

Mr Ratcliffe said she spoke on Tuesday of a headache and feeling numbness in her legs and numbness in her right arm, as well as a rash.

He said: “She had the panic attack, got taken down to the clinic and they said … she had very low blood pressure.

“I think it feels like the physical symptoms of crushing disappointment since she went back into prison.

“Certainly, yesterday the head of the prison was worried enough to come down and see her and ask her how she was and what’s going on. He clearly was very surprised that she’d been brought back into prison and asked her why and what’s happened.”

Mr Ratcliffe said one of the other prisoners called for help, adding: “We’re clearly very, very worried.”

He went on: “She certainly, when I spoke to her on the phone yesterday morning, she was devastated and it was amongst the hardest phone calls I’ve had with her, just really sad. Yes, gutted.

Jeremy Hunt has been more engaged than his predecessor, Richard Ratcliffe said (Nick Ansell/PA)
Jeremy Hunt has been more engaged than his predecessor, Richard Ratcliffe said (Nick Ansell/PA)

“They’ll be trying to assess how serious they think it is but the fact that it’s happened now two days in a row, and that she passed out, yes, they’ll be worried, as are we.”

He added that he would wait by the phone and the family had been in touch with the British Embassy.

He said: “It’s been such a whirlwind this past few (days), just keeping up with events.”

The couple’s four-year-old daughter Gabriella, he said, had been due to visit her mother today, adding: “We don’t know if that family visit has been cancelled yet.”

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, from Hampstead, north London, was sentenced to five years in jail after being accused of spying by Tehran’s Islamist regime.

She denies the allegation and said she was on holiday in Iran to allow her daughter to spend time with relatives there.

Her daughter has been staying with family since Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who works for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was detained at Imam Khomeini airport in April 2016.

- Press Association

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