Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe 'found unconscious' in prison cell

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe 'found unconscious' in prison cell
British Iranian charity worker detained in Iran was rushed to hospital after being found unconscious as a result of an anxiety attack.
2 min read
29 August, 2018
Nazanin's family have criticised the UK government for not doing enough [Getty]

A British-Iranian charity worker who is detained in Iran has collapsed as a result of severe anxiety after being taken away from her daughter, according to her family.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has been detained in Iran for over two years on spurious spy charges was rushed to hospital on Wednesday after being found unconscious in her prison cell.

According to The Guardian, Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband, Richard, confirmed she had a panic attack on Wednesday – the second time this week.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe spent time with her family for three days last week after being released temporarily from detention, but was returned to jail on Sunday evening, dashing her family's hopes of an extension.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe was briefly reunited with her daughter last week.

“She is adorable, and she is also kind and caring. I couldn’t bear her tears. Nothing is worse than her tears. I cannot forget her face," Zaghari-Ratcliffe said when reunited with her daughter.

She was then told on Sunday that she had to return to the notorious Evin prison in Tehran, with mother and daughter separated again.

"We have just heard the sad news that Nazanin's extension has been refused and she has returned to prison," a tweet from the "Free Nazanin" Twitter account read.

"Here is the moment she said goodbye to a distraught Gabriella." 

A picture was included of Zaghari-Ratcliffe hugging her four-year-old daughter as the two parted.

Her husband Richard Ratcliffe said the separation was hugely traumatic for both mother and daughter.

"She was shivering and shaking and crying - and said: 'How can you take me away from my baby, when she needs me'?" he said in a an email received by AFP. 

"Gabriella was crying and sucking her thumb - she didn't want her mummy to go back."

He said they received "mixed messages" from authorities following her surprise release from jail.

The charity worker was told at first her request for an extension had been approved, but when she returned home received a call from the prosecutor telling her to return to prison by sunset.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who works for the Thomson Reuters Foundation - the media organisation's philanthropic arm - was arrested at Tehran airport on 3 April 2016.