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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 17 January 2019

British-Iranian prisoner in Tehran to go on three-day hunger strike 

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Iranian human rights activist Narges Mohammadi will protest together

A photo of Richard Ratcliffe and his wife Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has been jailed in Iran, on display at their home in north London. PA
A photo of Richard Ratcliffe and his wife Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has been jailed in Iran, on display at their home in north London. PA

Jailed British-Iranian mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe says she will go on a three-day hunger strike to protest prisoner treatment in an Iranian prison, including being refused access to doctors and medication.

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who is serving a five-year prison term in Tehran, will go on an extendable three-day strike with Narges Mohammadi, an Iranian human rights activist.

In a joint letter published on Wednesday, the two women decry the lack of access to medical attention, which they say is in breach of international and Iranian law.

Both women have reported medical conditions. Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe has suffered from depression, panic attacks and insomnia. In August 2018 she collapsed twice, reportedly over having to return to prison after being released for three days, during which time she saw her four-year-old daughter Gabriella.

The 40-year-old was arrested in Tehran airport in 2016 on charges of espionage, which she denies, and sentenced to five years in Evin Prison in Tehran.

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Read more:

Charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe reaches 1,000 days in Iranian jail

Families of Iranian ‘hostages’ make rare joint appeal for freedom

Why Jeremy Hunt failed to get Tehran to co-operate on every front

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During that time she was working as a business administrator for the charity wing of Thomson Reuters. But Iranian media has accused her of trying to topple the Iranian regime.

Her case has caused a diplomatic rift between London and Tehran, her release becoming a key metric of success for British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Supporters of the charity worker have suggested that an unpaid bill for a multi-million dollar arms deal from nearly 40 years ago has prevented her release.

Ms Mohammadi is the Vice President of the Defenders of Human Rights Centre, the organisation which published the joint letter. She has been periodically imprisoned since 1998 and suffers from an epilepsy-like disease, which causes her to lose control of her muscles.

Updated: January 3, 2019 01:32 PM

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