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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe returned to prison after 'traumatising' week chained to hospital bed

PUBLISHED: 14:35 22 July 2019 | UPDATED: 14:35 22 July 2019

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been in prison since 2016. Picture: Family of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been in prison since 2016. Picture: Family of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

PA Wire/PA Images

After almost a week shackled to a bed in a mental health hospital, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been returned to Evin prison and allowed to speak with her family.

Nazanin was taken to hospital last Monday where she was then kept in "effectively solitary confinement" and blocked from communicating with her parents in Iran or husband Richard by phone.

The Free Nazanin campaign led by Richard confirmed that she had been kept in a private room under 24-hour guard, and that being cuffed to her bed had been hugely traumatising for her.

"The first night, the cuffs were chained particularly tight - so tight that Nazanin could not move," Richard said.

He explained she had a daily battle while in hospital in hope that the handcuffs were loosened even slightly.

Richard quoted Nazanin as saying:"I am relieved I am back to prison. Being alone makes you appreciate the ward.

"Why should I be kept incommunicado for a week? Why this long line of security guards gazing at me? There was no justification for it. I am cross at them. I am not scared. The amount of scars I got. I have been put through hell."

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Nazanin was given some cognitive behavioural therapy and also prescribed medicine to alleviate symptoms of stress, insomnia, nausea and stomach pain.

She was told while in hospital that her admission was on the orders of the Health Commission - who are still to rule on her physical fitness to be in prison.

On Sunday, on her return to Evin, she was able to see both her mother and daughter Gabriella, 5.

Richard said: "The whole experience was deeply traumatising, for Nazanin and the wider family.

"While the medical treatment started will hopefully be allowed to continue as an outpatient, primarily her lawyer will be pressing the Health Commission to finally rule that Nazanin is not fit to stay in prison and can be granted unconditional release."

This morning Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan resigned, and in his resignation letter to the Prime Minister Theresa May he said he was "deeply upset" that "fruitful discussions I had initiated about the possible release of Nazanin Ratcliffe were brought to such an abrupt halt".

It is not known what Sir Alan was referring to him, but Nazanin's family are pressing the Foreign Office on this, and Nazanin's MP Tulip Siddiq, (Lab, Hamsptead and Kilburn) has tabled questions on this topic.

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