An imprisoned Iranian-British aid worker starts a hunger strike

LONDON (Reuters) – An Anglo-Iranian aid worker imprisoned in Tehran is on hunger strike to protest her treatment, her employer and her husband said.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 40, project manager at the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was arrested in April 2016 at a Tehran airport while returning to Britain with her daughter after a family visit.

She was sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted of conspiracy to overthrow the Iranian clerical institution, a charge denied by her family and the Foundation, an independent charity of Thomson Reuters and Reuters News.

"Nazanin called me this morning to confirm from Evin's prison that she had started this hunger strike this morning. It's at the beginning a three-day hunger strike, "said her husband, Richard Ratcliffe.

He added that Nazanin was taking steps to lobby for access to medical specialists to solve health problems and benefit from treatment of their choice.

A spokesman for Iranian justice refused to comment.

Britain said it would not let the Zaghari-Ratcliffe file be silenced and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt had summoned the Iranian ambassador on Monday to ask him for immediate access to health care. health she needed.

"His current detention is TOTALLY unacceptable and his treatment by the Iranian authorities is a fundamental violation of human rights," Hunt wrote on Twitter.

"We all have a high thought for Nazanin as she begins her hunger strike today. It is really a terrible accusation of the approach of Iran that she feels she has to face such a test. Iran must act now. "

Iran said the trial and the verdict were in the hands of the judiciary. [nL8N1WD59V]

Monique Villa, CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, said it was "extremely shocking to see our colleague … go on a hunger strike to protest his inhumane treatment."

Britain has advised people with dual British and Iranian nationality against any trip to Iran, except for essential travel, by reinforcing its current travel recommendations and warning that it will not be necessary. it has only limited powers to help them in detention.

Report by Alistair Smout; Edited by Nick Tattersall and Angus MacSwan

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