British woman jailed for 'plotting to topple Tehran government' ends hunger strike for the sake of her family

Husband says she has reached 'breaking point' — at one point writing a suicide letter

Harriet Agerholm@HarrietAgerholm
Saturday 19 November 2016 20:23

A British-Iranian charity worker jailed for plotting to overthrow the Iran’s government has ended a five-day hunger strike for the sake of her daughter, according to human rights charity Amnesty International.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was sentenced to five years in jail on unspecified “national security charges” in September, had stopped eating in protest against her detainment.

Her husband Richard Ratcliffe told the human rights organisation she had reached “breaking point” over the past few weeks, and at one point had written a suicide letter, although she reportedly had not spoken of killing herself since.

The 37-year-old, from Hampstead in north-west London, was originally arrested at Tehran Airport on 3 April along with her 22-month-old daughter Gabriella.

Her family were granted an emergency visit on Friday where they persuaded her to end a hunger strike she began on 13 November, the charity said.

They claim she has not received adequate medical care after suffering heart palpitations, blurred visions and pain in her hands, arms and shoulders.

Philp Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International, said: “The news of the decline in Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s health is deeply alarming.

“Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s ordeal has caused her immense despair and suffering. It is shocking that the Iranian authorities are adding to her pain by failing to grant her adequate medical care.

“Her imprisonment on spurious ‘national security’ charges has been utterly unjust.

“After her arrest, she was separated from her baby daughter and held in solitary confinement for 45 days. Instead of prolonging her pain and suffering, the Iranian authorities must end her ordeal by releasing her immediately and unconditionally.”

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