Mum feels ‘trep­i­da­tion’ as hunger strike looms

South Wales Echo - - News - STAFF RE­PORTER Re­porter­[email protected]­

A BRITISH-IRA­NIAN mother de­tained in Tehran feels a “strong sense of trep­i­da­tion” ahead of em­bark­ing on a hunger strike after be­ing de­nied health care, her hus­band said.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has fam­ily liv­ing in Cardiff, will strike for three days start­ing this week with Narges Mo­ham­madi, an Ira­nian hu­man rights de­fender who is also be­hind bars in Evin prison.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe has suf­fered a cat­a­logue of men­tal and phys­i­cal health com­plaints since her ar­rest at Tehran’s Imam Khome­ini air­port on April 3, 2016.

Hus­band Richard Ratcliffe, speak­ing to the Ob­server, said: “We know a hunger strike has sig­nif­i­cant phys­i­cal con­se­quences the longer it goes on, and Nazanin is feel­ing a strong sense of trep­i­da­tion. But there aren’t many ways she can say, ‘Enough is enough.’”

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe will con­sider ex­tend­ing the hunger strike – a protest after be­ing de­nied med­i­cal care in prison – if her de­mands to see a doc­tor are not met, Mr Ratcliffe said. He said his wife was hav­ing med­i­cal treat­ment blocked for check­ing lumps in her breasts, neu­ro­log­i­cal care over her neck pains and numb­ness in her arms and legs, and for see­ing an out­side psy­chi­a­trist.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was sen­tenced to five years in jail after be­ing ac­cused of spy­ing, a charge she strongly de­nies.

She spent her 40th birth­day on Box­ing Day in prison, where she has been de­tained for more than 1,000 days. The char­ity worker’s four-year-old daugh­ter Gabriella has been stay­ing with fam­ily in Iran since Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who works for the Thom­son Reuters Foun­da­tion, was de­tained. Richard has mounted a cam­paign for his wife’s re­lease, sup­ported by Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s sis­ter-in-law Re­becca Jones, who works as a GP in Ebbw Vale.

Nazanin Zaghar­iRat­cliffe with her daugh­ter Gabriella

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