UK summons Iranian ambassador over detained British woman's ill-treatment

UK summons Iranian ambassador over detained British woman's ill-treatment
2 min read
14 January, 2019
Iran has denied Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe urgently needed medical treatment, her family have said.
Hunt has demanded answer from Iran [Getty]
UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt summoned Iran's ambassador to Britain on Monday to demand that jailed British-Iranian dual national, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, receive proper medical attention.

According to Zaghari-Ratcliffe's family, Zaghari-Ratcliff has been denied proper medical attention since discovering lumps on her breasts.

On Monday, the mother-of-one began a hunger strike along with famed imprisoned Iranian human rights activist Narges Mohammadi to protest her treatment while in detention.

Jeremy Hunt demanded the Iranian government to provide the necessary medical treatment to the detained charity worker, who was arrested in Tehran in April 2016 for allegedly spying, charges her supporters strongly deny.

"Today, I summoned the Iranian ambassador to demand Nazanin has immediate access to the healthcare she requires. Her ongoing detention is TOTALLY unacceptable and her treatment at the hands of Iranian authorities is a fundamental breach of human rights," Hunt wrote on Twitter.

The foreign secretary also met with Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband ahead of the start of the hunger strike on Monday.

On Monday, her husband also claimed was asked to spy for Iran by members of the country's Revolutionary Guard militia force.

Richard Ratcliffe told reporters in London that his wife was left "terrified" after being offered freedom in exchange for agreeing to spy for Iran.

"What really pushed her over the edge was they tried to make her become a spy for Iran against the UK," Ratcliffe said.

"She was told it would be safer for her and safer for her family afterwards if she agreed to do this."

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a former employee of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was arrested at Tehran airport on 3 April 2016. 

Iranian authorities accuse her of plotting against the government. Her family denies this, saying she was in Iran to visit family.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe is currently serving a five-year sentence for "plotting to topple the Iranian government".

Iran has detained a number of dual-nationals and foreigners on what critics say are trumped up charges.