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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe describes five years of Iran torture

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband, Richard Ratcliffe, and daughter, Gabriella – REUTERS

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has detailed the five years of torture she was subjected to by the Iranian regime for the first time.

The International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims conducted a six-hour consultation with Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe, in which she detailed experiencing sensory deprivation, prolonged isolation and stress positions.

She also said she was subjected to prolonged handcuffing, chaining and blindfolding.

In a report by the Council, seen by The Times, the authors conclude she is unlikely to recover until she is brought back to the UK for treatment.

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe completed her five-year sentence on Sunday and had her electronic ankle tag removed, but Iran has refused to let her return to Britain.

Following the evaluation by the Council the mother of one was diagnosed with “serious and chronic post-traumatic stress disorder, major depression and obsessive compulsive disorder”.

“Her treatment, as a whole, amounts to torture, under international standards,” Dr Michele Heisler, one of the two experts who examined Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe said.

“It has been going on for five years and is continuing.”

According to the report, Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe was blindfolded and interrogated for up to eight to nine hours at a time, during which she was told that her husband had left her, that her family had disowned her or that she would never again see her daughter, Gabriella.

“This tactic of using your children is one we see used on women,” Dr Heisler said. “It is a type of torture that is unfortunately found to be effective.”

On Wednesday, Boris Johnson demanded the immediate release of Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe in a phone call with Iran’s president.


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