Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe says she feels ‘stronger’ after panic attacks

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe says she feels ‘stronger’ after panic attacks

Monday, September 3, 2018

The husband of imprisoned Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has said she is “gradually getting better” after speaking to her from her prison ward.

Richard Ratcliffe spoke to his wife on Sunday from an Iranian jail after she was given a three-day temporary release.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe passed out during a panic attack and had to be taken to a prison clinic earlier this week after being returned to prison.

Mr Ratcliffe told Sky News: "She said today she was feeling stronger, that she still had a few days where she was still feeling numb in her legs and dizzy and headaches - but that it was markedly better today and had been gradually getting better all week.

"There was a family visit later on and they said that actually she was quite angry which is probably a good sign that the overwhelming experience of the past week is catching up and now the unfairness of it was coming through.”

‘Paraded on the balcony’

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was sentenced to five years imprisonment for spying in 2016, but maintains her innocence, saying she was on holiday to introduce her daughter to her family in Iran.

Mr Ratcliffe added: "She said on the phone that it felt like she had been taken to some safe house and then paraded on the balcony so everyone could see her and then put back in captivity again."

In an open letter to Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif, Mr Ratcliffe said his wife was deeply upset at being forced back to prison, which he called a "cruel game".

He called on Mr Zarif to meet him next week at a UN summit in New York to discuss his wife's case.

Mr Ratcliffe said Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has been "as strong as we could have wanted" after he promised to heighten efforts aimed at securing the British-Iranian's release.