Zaghari-Ratcliffe moved to psychiatric ward in Iran

Family say Revolutionary Guards will not allow them contact wit her

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe
Supporters hold a photo of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe during a vigil outside the Iranian Embassy in London 
(Image credit: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British-Iranian woman jailed in Iran, has been moved to a psychiatric ward in hospital, reports the BBC.

The 40-year-old was arrested in Tehran in 2016, accused of spying and jailed for five years. She denies the charge.

She was moved to the hospital on Monday and is being held by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, says Richard Ratcliffe.

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The development comes after Zaghari-Ratcliffe went on hunger strike for 15 days last month to protest her detention. The Guardian notes that it also comes as tensions between Iran and the UK, “have increased yet further recently”.

Her father said he visited the hospital on Tuesday but was not allowed to see his daughter. The Free Nazanin Campaign said it is not known how long she is expected to remain in hospital.

Before being transferred, 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.”

Her husband Richard said: “Hopefully her transfer to hospital means that she is getting treatment and care, despite my distrust of just what pressures can happen behind closed doors. It is unnerving when we don't know what is going on.”

The Foreign Office said it was “extremely concerned about the welfare of Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe”.

A spokesman said: “We urge Iran to allow family members to visit and check on her care as a matter of urgency. We will continue to call for her release at the highest levels.”

In 2017 Boris Johnson was forced to apologise after saying that Zaghari-Ratcliffe was in Iran “teaching people journalism”. Her family insist she was there to visit relatives.

The Tory leadership hopeful has repeatedly said the responsibility for her continued detention lies with the Revolutionary Guard.

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