01/15/2019, 11.06
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Jailed British Iranian woman goes on hunger strike to deman medical care

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe announced that she will not take food for 72 hours, but the protest could continue to the bitter end. The prison authorities denied  her medical treatment for neck, arm and leg pain. Member of a charitable NGO, the woman was sentenced to five years in prison for trying to "overthrow the religious establishment".

Tehran (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British citizen of Iranian origin with a double passport currently jailed in a prison Tehran has begun a hunger strike to last at least 72 hours to protest against cell treatment and the ban on access to medical care.

The 40-year-old woman, project manager for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was arrested in April 2016 at the international airport of the capital while she was about to return to London with her daughter, after a visit to her family of origin.

Yesterday, husband Richard Ratcliffe announced the start of the protest during a press conference held in the capital of the United Kingdom. "Nazanin called me this morning - he underlined - from Evin prison, to confirm that she started a hunger strike. For now it will last three days "but it is not excluded that it can continue if the situation does not change.

The woman is protesting the conditions she is subjected to in jail: the prison guards would have denied specialized medical treatment for severe neck pain and numbness in the arms and legs.

Iranian authorities have currently no official comments on the matter.

The judges have sentenced Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe to a five-year prison term after having recognized her as a conspirator in an attempt to overthrow the Iranian religious establishment. An accusation rejected by the the woman, her family members and the Foundation she works for, a charitable NGO that operates independently of the information giant.

British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt, who yesterday called the Iranian ambassador to London and called for the necessary medical treatment to be guaranteed, intervened at the time. "Her ongoing detention - said Hunt - is unacceptable and her treatment by the Iranian authorities is unacceptable". Teheran responded, speaking of "unacceptable" interference "in internal affairs".

London has warned all British citizens of Iranian origin not to travel to their country of origin, if not strictly necessary. According to estimates by Human Rights Watch (HRW), Teheran has recently arrested several citizens with double passports.

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