NEWS
29/08/2018 11:36 BST | Updated 30/08/2018 10:35 BST

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe Taken To Hospital Wing In Iranian Prison After 'Panic Attack'

The news comes after the British mother was returned to jail following a temporary three-day release.

British charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been taken to the hospital wing of the prison where she is being held after she suffered a panic attack, her husband has said.

Richard Ratcliffe confirmed to HuffPost UK that his wife had “passed out” and was taken to a clinic in the Iranian prison. He said they have requested that she is moved to an external hospital. 

“I last spoke to her yesterday [Tuesday] morning when she was really down and miserable, I mean it was probably the hardest conversation I’ve had with her in a very long time. Then after that phone call she had a panic attack and was taken down to the clinic,” he said.

Ratcliffe said his wife had “blacked out” after complaining about headaches on Tuesday. He said she was feeling numbness in her legs, as well as her right arm, and that she also had a rash.

She was told after being taken to the clinic that she had very low blood pressure. “I think it it feels like the physical symptoms of crushing disappointment since she went back into prison,” he added to the Press Association.

“Certainly, yesterday the head of the prison was worried enough to come down and see her and ask her how she was and what’s going on. He clearly was very surprised that she’d been brought back into prison and asked her why and what’s happened.”

He said one of his wife’s cell mates called her family at about midday on Wednesday to let them know she had had a second panic attack and had been taken to the prison clinic.

The family are waiting to hear whether she will be transferred to an external hospital.

This incident comes just days after Zaghari-Ratcliffe was denied an extension to temporary release from prison.

The British-Iranian citizen has been detained by the Iranian authorities since 2016 for allegedly seeking to overthrow the government.

But on Thursday she was granted a temporary release from Evin prison for three days and was reunited with her four-year-old daughter Gabriella and family.

Both her lawyer and husband were hopeful that the release would be extended.

Tulip Siddiq, MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, asked “how much more” her constituent could take.

Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt urged that efforts be redoubled “to find a way to get her [Zaghari-Ratcliffe] home.”

In a tweet posted in light of her husband’s comments on Wednesday, Hunt said: “All our thoughts and prayers with Nazanin and her family today.

“Unbearable suffering to be apart from daughter with her hopes raised then dashed.”

Hunt has been praised by Ratcliffe for giving his wife’s case greater priority than that of his predecessor, Boris Johnson.

Ratcliffe suggested that there had been a change in the relationship with Iran since Hunt replaced Johnson as foreign secretary last month. He added that he had “sensed a change in the way he has prioritised Nazanin’s case”.

Ratcliffe said that one of his complaints with the government had been that his wife’s case was not being treated with the public severity he thought it warranted, but that this had changed when Hunt took over the role.

A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “We are in close touch with Nazanin’s family and continue to raise welfare concerns of all our dual national prisoners with the Iranian authorities.”