Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe in good health inside prison: Judiciary

March 3, 2020 - 22:44

TEHRAN — Iran’s Judiciary says Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a dual British-Iranian national who is jailed in Iran, is in good health, rejecting speculation that she might be infected with coronavirus.

“Nazanin Zaghari is in good health and she was provided the opportunity to contact her family yesterday (Monday),” Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaeili said on Tuesday during a press conference, ISNA reported.

It came after her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, issued a statement on Saturday saying she is suspected of having contracted coronavirus in prison.

He has been calling for his wife to be tested for COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, claiming that she showed symptoms including a “cough, temperature, body pain all over and fatigue.”

He also claimed there was a lack of hygiene material for inmates at the prison in Tehran, where she is detained.

On Tuesday, Iranian Ambassador to London Hamid Baeidinejad quoted Esmaeili as saying that Zaghari-Ratcliffe could be granted furlough.

“Mr. Esmaili, the spokesman of Iran’s Judiciary, announced that Mrs. Nazanin Zaghari is in good health condition and has not been affected with coronavirus,” he said in a tweet.

“He added that one of the prisoners with security charge will be granted a furlough today or tomorrow to join family,” Baeidinejad added.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 41, has been imprisoned in Iran for more than three years on charges of trying to orchestrate a soft overthrow of the Islamic Republic.

The prosecutor general of Tehran had stated in October 2017 that she was being held for running “a BBC Persian online journalism course which was aimed at recruiting and training people to spread propaganda against Iran.”

On November 1, 2017, Boris Johnson, who at the time was Britain’s foreign secretary, said, “When we look at what Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was doing, she was simply teaching people journalism, as I understand it, at the very limit.”

In June 2019, both Nazanin and Richard Zaghari-Ratcliffe went on hunger strike, in protest at her imprisonment, with Richard Zaghari-Ratcliffe camping outside the Iranian Embassy in London. They both ended the hunger strike on 29 June 2019, after 15 days.

On June 24, 2019, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said Zaghari-Ratcliffe will serve out her five-year prison sentence, dismissing a call for her release by a British minister visiting Tehran.

“Mrs. Zaghari is an Iranian. She has been convicted on security charges and is spending her sentence in prison,” Abbas Mousavi told a press conference.

MH/PA

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