Jailed British-Iranian aid worker moved to hospital psychiatric ward

The Free Nazanin Campaign group said she was kept isolated for more than 36 hours. (File/AFP)
Updated 17 July 2019

Jailed British-Iranian aid worker moved to hospital psychiatric ward

  • Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe worked as a project manager at the Thomson Reuters Foundation
  • She was arrested in 2016 at the airport as she was on her way to Britain

LONDON: Jailed British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been transferred from prison to a hospital psychiatric ward, the campaign group seeking to free her said on Wednesday.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was moved from Tehran’s Evin prison to the psychiatric ward of Imam Khomeini hospital in the capital, the Free Nazanin Campaign, which is led by Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband Richard Ratcliffe, said in a statement.

She was arrested in April 2016 at a Tehran airport as she headed back to Britain with her daughter after a family visit and was sentenced to five years in jail after being convicted of plotting to overthrow Iran’s clerical establishment.

Her family and the Foundation, a charity organization that operates independently of Thomson Reuters and Reuters News, deny the charge.

A spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May urged Tehran to allow family members to visit Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

“We are extremely concerned about Nazanin’s welfare and call for her immediate release,” the spokesman said. “And we urge Iran to allow family members to visit her and check on her care.”

Last month Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her husband ended a two-week hunger strike designed to push for her release and raise the profile of her case.

The Free Nazanin Campaign said Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s father visited the hospital on Tuesday, and confirmed that she is being held there under the control of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

It said he was denied access to see her despite waiting for several hours.

“This is unusual. She has now been kept isolated from family or legal contact under IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps)control for over 36 hours,” the campaign group said.

It said her father was unable to establish what treatment she is receiving or the IRGC’s agenda, and added it was not known how long she will be held in the hospital.

Last month Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman said Zaghari-Ratcliffe will serve out her full sentence, dismissing a call for her release by a British minister visiting Tehran.

Sudan flood death toll reaches 62: state media

Updated 47 min 3 sec ago

Sudan flood death toll reaches 62: state media

  • Sudan has been hit by torrential rains since the start of July
  • Nearly 200,000 people in at least 15 states across the country have been affected

KHARTOUM: Heavy rainfall and flash floods have killed 62 people in Sudan and left 98 others injured, the official SUNA news agency reported on Sunday.
Sudan has been hit by torrential rains since the start of July, affecting nearly 200,000 people in at least 15 states across the country including the capital Khartoum.
The worst affected area is the White Nile state in the south.
Flooding of the Nile river remains "the biggest problem", SUNA said, citing a health ministry official.
On Friday the United Nations said 54 people had died due to the heavy rains.
It said more than 37,000 homes had been destroyed or damaged, quoting figures from the government body it partners with in the crisis response.
"Humanitarians are concerned by the high likelihood of more flash floods," the UN said, adding that the rainy season was expected to last until October.
The floods are having a lasting humanitarian impact on communities, with cut roads, damaged water points, lost livestock and the spread of water-borne diseases by insects.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said an extra $150 million were needed from donors to respond to surging waters, in addition to the $1.1 billion required for the overall humanitarian situation in Sudan.