IRAN: Nazanin Zagheri-Ratcliffe’s Panic Attacks Highlight ‘Exceptionally Cruel Treatment

An Amnesty International UK News Release
‘What the Iranian authorities are doing to Nazanin is exceptionally cruel’ – Kate Allen
Responding to reports from her husband that the jailed British charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has suffered panic attacks in Evin Prison in Iran and collapsed this morning, Kate Allen, Amnesty International UK’s Director, said:
“What the Iranian authorities are doing to Nazanin is exceptionally cruel.
“Not only have they deprived her of her due process rights by locking her up for months in solitary confinement without access to a lawyer and subjecting her to a grossly unfair trial, but they’ve torn her away yet again from her daughter’s arms, subjecting them both to severe mental anguish and trauma.
“Nazanin must immediately be given access to the specialised medical care she needs. Beyond that, she is a prisoner of conscience who has been unjustly jailed and must be released immediately and unconditionally.
“The sooner she is released and is able to travel back to the UK with her young daughter Gabriella, the better.
“After the crushing disappointment of being sent back to prison following her furlough release, it’s now all the more imperative that Jeremy Hunt and fellow ministers accelerate all efforts to secure Nazanin’s release.”
Panic attacks since return to prison
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been suffering from panic attacks since she was forced to return to Tehran’s Evin Prison on Sunday after her three-day release.
This morning a panic attack caused her to collapse. She has been taken to the clinic in Evin Prison, which does not have adequate specialist medical facilities to treat her.
During the panic attacks she has experienced low blood pressure, strong headaches, a rash affecting her entire body, and numbness in her legs and her right arm.
Although she was taken to the prison clinic following a panic attack yesterday, she was sent back to the women’s ward where she is imprisoned, even though the doctor there told her that she needs to urgently see a specialist outside prison.
Her family has put in a request to the Prosecutor’s Office in Evin Prison that she be allowed to be sent to a hospital out of the prison so that she can receive the specialised medical care she needs.
Nazanin was forced to go back to prison at the weekend after the authorities refused to extend her three-day leave. Her husband Richard Ratcliffe has told Amnesty that she was devastated at having to return to prison and cried the whole day and night she returned.
For further information, please contact Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Relations 416-363-9933 ext 332