Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe returns to prison after psychiatric ward torture

A British-Iranian woman jailed in Iran was chained to a bed and kept in solitary confinement during her stay in a psychiatric ward, according to her husband.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has now been sent back to an Iranian prison looking “old and thin”, according to a statement from the group campaigning for her release.

She herself described her treatment as “proper torture”, the statement said.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested in Tehran in 2016 and sentenced to five years in prison after being accused of spying. She denies the charge.

Following fears for her worsening health, Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was moved to the hospital ward in Tehran on 15 July, where she was under the control of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

After multiple attempts from her family and lawyers to see her were blocked, she was allowed to phone her husband Richard, and both her mother and young daughter Gabriella were allowed to see her on Sunday, the day after she was returned to prison.

“In hospital, Nazanin was kept effectively in solitary confinement, chained to her hospital bed, and under the control of multiple layers of guards,” Mr Ratcliffe said.

“The whole experience was deeply traumatising.”

She was discharged at her request and the request of the hospital doctor, the group campaigning for her release said.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe left after six days of an expected 10-day stay. She received psychotherapy sessions, had physical checks and was prescribed some medicines.

However, the Free Nazanin group expressed alarm and quoted Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe expressing her distress at her treatment.

She had been kept in a heavily guarded private room measuring 2 metres by 3 metres (6.5ft by 9.8ft), and was constantly chained to the bed day and night.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was quoted as saying: “I am alright, broken, but I survived. They did all they could to me – handcuffs, ankle cuffs, in a private room 2x3m, with thick curtains, and the door closed all the time. I wasn’t allowed to leave the room, as I was chained to the bed.

“It was proper torture. It was tough, and I was struggling. But I am glad I survived. The original order was for 10 days. I managed to survive for six. I think it was an achievement.”

The statement said “others noted that she had again lost weight. She complained that visibly she looked old and thin, was glad that no one was seeing her”.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “The way that she was detained for a week without being able to have any access to her family was totally unacceptable and I am afraid all too predictable from the Iranian regime.”

The Iranian embassy in London declined to comment.

Source » sky

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