The UN is being asked to investigate the case of jailed British mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe” alt=”The UN is being asked to investigate the case of jailed British mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe” data-credit=”PA” data-portal-copyright=”PA” data-provider=”Other” data-provider-asset-id=”206122823″ data-has-syndication-rights=”false”>
The UN is being urged to investigate the case of jailed British mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe whose 22-month imprisonment in Iran “amounts to torture”.
Nazanin is serving a five-year sentence over allegations, which she denies, of plotting to overthrow the Tehran government, having been arrested in the country while on holiday with her daughter in April 2016.
Nazanin’s husband, Richard Ratcliffe, said on Wednesday: “I think we have passed the threshold where Nazanin’s treatment is torture.
“These ongoing games remain a kind of psychological torture of continual ups and downs, and pressures impacting on Nazanin.”
Submissions made by charity Redress, on behalf of the Free Nazanin campaign, detail for the first time the “exceptionally harsh treatment inflicted” on the 39-year-old, including “conditions of solitary confinement, the psychological pressures in the arbitrary detention and court proceedings, and her use as a tool of pressure in wider diplomatic affairs”.
The UN is being asked to request information from Iran on Nazanin’s treatment; to request the country cease “any torture and ill-treatment immediately” and to investigate the allegations with a view to prosecute those responsible. It also asks that the UN press the UK Government to “ensure that it is taking any necessary steps to fulfill its obligations to protect British citizens from torture and ill-treatment”.
The submission was delayed as Nazanin’s family had been “led to believe” she would be freed, on temporary release, in time for Iranian Independence Day on 11 February.
Independence Day is typically a day when prisoners are released in Iran, Redress said.
“Unless urgent action is taken now, the appalling treatment that Nazanin has suffered at the hands of Iranian authorities is likely to continue, with the devastating consequences that we have already seen on her physical and mental health,” said Rupert Skilbeck, director of Redress.
“The serious allegations of torture and ill-treatment in this case demand a closer and urgent examination from the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture.”
Being placed for eight and half months in solitary confinement, “suffering inhumane conditions” in a cell measuring 1.5 x 2 square meters with no window, natural air or light, has had an “extremely severe impact” on Nazanin, Redress said.
The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture has previously considered that solitary confinement amounts to torture or …