Human Rights

Imprisoned Dual Citizen, Rights Activist To Hunger Strike in Iran Over Lack of Medical Care

Two women imprisoned by the Iranian regime in the infamous Evin prison have announced their intent to participate in a hunger strike to protest the authorities’ refusal to grant them access to adequate health care, the Telegraph reported Thursday.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian dual citizen, wrote in a letter that she and human rights activist Narges Mohammadi will go on a three-day hunger strike later this month because Iranian authorities are denying them access to proper health care.

In a letter that was published by Defenders of Human Rights Centre, which is located in Tehran, Zaghari-Ratcliffe stated that both women were denied access to a doctor despite “frequent requests.”

“In protest to this illegal, inhuman and unlawful behaviour, and to express our concerns for our health and survival at this denial of specialist treatment, despite taking daily medicines, we will go on hunger strike from 14.01.2019 to 16.01.2019,” the letter stated.

“We announce that in the event of the authority’s failure to address these concerns and them further endangering our health, we will take further action.”

“Nazanin is currently having medical treatment blocked for lumps in her breasts, for neurological care over her neck pains and numbness in her arms and legs, and seeing an outside psychiatrist has been banned,” Richard Ratcliffe, Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband explained to the Telegraph.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager at the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was arrested in April 2016 while preparing to depart from Tehran’s international airport. She was separated from her toddler daughter Gabriella, who had her British passport confiscated and has since been living with her grandparents in Iran. Zaghari-Ratcliffe was sentenced to five years in prison for allegedly plotting against the regime in October 2016. At the time, Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband Richard, who denied the charges against his wife, said that she was being held as a “bargaining chip” to extract concessions from the United Kingdom.

Mohammadi, a vice president of Defenders of Human Rights Centre was sentenced to 16 years in prison in October 2016. She was handed sentences of five years for “gathering and conspiring with the aim of committing crimes against national security; ten years for “forming and managing an illegal group;” and an additional year for “propaganda against the state.”

[Photo: Sky News / YouTube ]