Jailed British mum to undergo health assessment

A British mother jailed in Iran is due to be assessed to determine whether she is fit to stay in prison, campaigners say.

There have been reports that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was sentenced to five years in September 2016, has been on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

The dual British-Iranian national, from Hampstead, north London, was also thought to be at risk of cancer after lumps were found in her breasts, but she has since been given the all-clear.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's daughter Gabriella wearing a pinafore her mother made in prison

Image: New photos of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s daughter Gabriella wearing a pinafore her mother made in prison

The Free Nazanin Campaign confirmed the Iranian Prosecutors Office ordered Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe to be assessed by the Health Commission.

She has instructed her lawyer to challenge the legality of Iranian news broadcasts about her case which campaigners say impacts “both on her chances of a fair trial and her health”.

In August, her husband Richard Ratcliffe said she was in a “fragile state” and a psychiatrist who had seen her diagnosed advanced depression.

:: Richard Ratcliffe: My fight to free Nazanin from jail in Iran

Nazanin Raghiri-Ratcliffe has been in Evin Prison since June 2016

Image: Nazanin Raghiri-Ratcliffe has been in the notorious Evin Prison since June 2016

On Saturday night, Iranian state TV broadcast a series of fresh claims against her which it claimed proved she had been working to undermine the Islamic Republic.

They included BBC pay slips, emails from Nazanin about her then-work for the BBC World Service Trust and letter to the British embassy, all dating from before 2010.

Nazanin was arrested in April 2016 as she was about to board a flight home to the UK with her daughter after spending time on holiday visiting her family.

:: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: A timeline

A BBC payslip from 2010 Iranian state TV claims is evidence Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was involved in working to undermine Iran

Image: A BBC payslip from 2010 Iranian state TV claims is evidence she was involved in working to undermine Iran

She had previously visited Iran four times with her daughter, who was 22 months old when Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was detained.

Her husband Richard Ratcliffe, who recently told Sky News of his struggle to cope while his wife and daughter were kept from him in Iran, said the situation was “contradictory”.

He said: “She is… instructing her lawyer to challenge the legality of the ongoing propaganda campaign against her.

“As a family, we have also noted the comments by the Judiciary spokesperson today (28 November) that Nazanin is eligible for early release on her original case.

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Video: Nazanin’s jail call to ‘good friends’

“The situation in Iran remains contradictory, though we live in hope.”

As he spoke, he released two new photos of Gabriella with a pinafore her mother has made for her using wool left behind in the notorious Evin Prison where she is being held.

In one she is pictured holding a Paddington Bear toy that was given to her when she was visited by Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt in August.

The BBC has released a statement clarifying that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe has never worked for BBC Persian TV nor trained Iranian journalists, as the news broadcasts alleged.

:: UK could settle £450m debt to free Iran mum

Emma Thompson and Richard Ratcliffe at a rally in support of Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe, who is in jail in Iran

Image: Emma Thompson and Richard Ratcliffe at a rally in support of Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe

On Saturday, Sky News filmed as her supporters who had gathered for a rally were able to talk to the mother as she called from her jail in Tehran.

Mr Ratcliffe says he has able to speak to his wife about twice a week and she sees her daughter roughly as often.