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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe allowed out to see psychiatrist after Parliamentary debate

PUBLISHED: 17:51 25 July 2017 | UPDATED: 17:48 26 July 2017

Nazanin with her daughter Gabriella.

Nazanin with her daughter Gabriella.

Archant

The husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe held in Iran has spoken of his relief after his wife was granted a series of sessions with a female psychiatrist for her fragile mental state.

West Hampstead mum Nazanin, 38, has now had her first visit to the female psychiatrist, who works independently of Evin prison.

Her psychiatric appointment outside the prison follows a cross-party debate on dual national British Iranian prisoners in Iran held on July 18, organised by Tulip Siddiq, MP for Hampstead and Kilburn.

The Evin prison psychiatrist had been threatening to send Nazanin to an asylum if she continued to refuse pills from him.

Richard Ratcliffe said he was sure that Nazanin, an Anglo-Iranian, was allowed to receive independent treatment as a “direct consequence of the debate and everyone lobbying their MPs”.

He added: “Thank you everyone for your support in making this happen.”

Richard told the Ham&High: “She phoned her family after the debate and I got to speak with her on the weekend.

“She was able to go [to the psychiatrist] and the prison guard was made to wait outside.

“It meant she was much more trusting that she could talk about how she feels about being in prison, about being without her daughter and without her husband.”

On the day of the debate, Nazanin’s father visited the Iranian Deputy Prosecutor to petition for her to see a psychiatrist.

The psychiatrist has diagnosed Nazanin with severe depression and will see her for five more sessions.

Nazanin, a former media charity work with Thomson Reuters, is suffering from a lack of energy or desire to socialise, and her moods are “volatile”.

She is serving a five year prison sentence.

Nazanin was arrested at Tehran airport with her three-year daughter following a family holiday.

Her daughter, Gabriella, now three, is living with her grandparents in Iran.

At the debate in Parliament, Tulip Siddiq MP called on the government to proclaim Nazanin’s innocence, as well as that of two other British-Iranian prisoners, Kamal Foroughi and Roya Nobakht.

Richard said: “Nazanin’s asking every phone call about what we’re doing with the campaign and that’s what’s giving her hope.”

There will be a play at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, “Looking for Mummy: Nazanin’s Story”.

Richard hopes this will bring the campaign to an international audience.

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