Friday, May 14, 2021
HomeNazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s future ‘very uncertain’ as her mental health agony is revealed

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s future ‘very uncertain’ as her mental health agony is revealed

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The British-Iranian mother-of-one has completed a near-five-year sentence for alleged spying but faces another court hearing this weekend on new charges of spreading propaganda.

She has always denied all the charges and the UK Government has called for her immediate release.

It comes after a medical report, sent by a charity to the British Government, said Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe needs urgent treatment for her mental health.

The report said she is suffering from major depression and PTSD. Her husband Richard Ratcliffe said making her “visible” had kept her safer but her future was “still very uncertain”.

Mr Racliffe told Times Radio: “Keeping her visible has kept her safer and protected. A consequence of so many people following her story meant that bad things couldn’t happen in the same way to her.

“It may be that this weekend we get a long prison sentence, it may be that we don’t. She remains in harm’s way until she gets on the plane. Until she’s home she’s not home and the ordeal continues.”

The report – commissioned by the human rights charity Redress – says Ms Ratcliffe was interrogated for hours, often blindfolded, while in solitary confinement at the beginning of her sentence.

Mr Ratcliffe said it would take “a long time” for his wife’s mental anxiety to go away.

He added: “Things are still very uncertain… that fear of bad stuff happening again, of being put back in solitary (confinement) will stay with her until she’s safe. It takes a long time for that anxiety to go away.”

Mr Ratcliffe, said his six-year-old daughter Gabriella was “definitely weaponised” against his wife but that was a “standard tactic”.

He said that guards would call their own children outside his wife’s cell, when she could not, which he described as a “real studied cruelty”.

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe, from Hampstead, was originally sentenced over allegations – which she strongly denies – of plotting to overthrow the Iranian government.

The new charges relate to claims Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe was involved in propaganda activity against the Islamic Republic.

It has been said that Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been used as a political pawn over a long-standing debt running into hundreds of millions of pounds over the non-delivery of tanks in 1979. The shipment was stopped due to the Islamic revolution.

She was released on house arrest in Iran last year and forced to wear an ankle tag. That sentence ended last weekend and the tag was removed but she faces the new court hearing on Sunday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called for her permanent release.

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