Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe showing ‘all the symptoms’ of coronavirus

Monday, March 2, 2020

Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat has called for the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe from Iranian jail after her family claimed she has been exposed to coronavirus.

The British-Iranian mother-of-one has been held in the country since 2016 over allegations of plotting to overthrow the Tehran government, which she denies.

Today her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, said she was showing “all the symptoms” of the virus but is yet to be tested.

He said his wife was desperately trying to get tested, but claimed the prison where she is being held is “obviously under orders” not to allow it.

Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee Mr Tugendhat told talkRADIO that Mrs Ratcliffe was a “terrible victim” of an “utter barbaric form of state piracy”.

“The major punishment is to be separated from her small daughter and from her husband, to be torn apart from her family, but these extra punishments of not looking after her properly, of giving her insufficient medical attention, now perhaps even exposing her to this disease, are absolutely horrific,” he told Julia Hartley-Brewer.

Although there are currently no confirmed cases at the Evin prison in Tehran, Covid-19 has spread rapidly across Iran with at least 54 dead and almost 1,000 patients identified.

Boris Johnson will today chair a meeting of the government’s emergency Cobra committee to look at tackling the spread of coronavirus after the number of cases in the UK climbed to 36 over the weekend.

The Prime Minister is expected to say that “there now seems little doubt” that the virus will present a “significant challenge” for the country.

“But we are well prepared, and the Government and the NHS will stop at nothing to fight this virus,” he will add.

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