Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe collapses in Iran's Evin prison

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By Lindsay Rempel
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and daughter Gabriella before she was arrested
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and daughter Gabriella before she was arrested   -   Copyright  Free Nazanin campaign

British-Iranian national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has had a traumatic return to Iran's Evin prison. She collapsed during a panic attack yesterday in her cell and was taken to the prison's medical centre. It was her second panic attack this week, said her husband Richard Ratcliffe.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe returned to prison on Sunday after her first three-day release since she was imprisoned in 2016. She was convicted on charges of espionage, which she denies.

From Friday to Sunday, she spent time with her family in Iran, including her four-year-old daughter Gabriella. Gabriella's passport was taken when her mother was arrested, and she has remained in Iran with family ever since. Both Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her husband had hoped and expected the furlough to be extended.

"I was surprised it happened, I was elated on Friday," said Richard Ratcliffe earlier this week regarding the release. "I was on all sorts of media talking about how hopeful we were. It's very unusual for it to only be three days- every other prisoner I heard of, it's always extended."

The head of the prison has told Ratcliffe he will investigate with Iranian authorities why she was taken back into custody. In the meantime, she remains incarcerated.

"I spoke to her on Tuesday, and she was- I mean it was probably one of the hardest conversations I've had," her husband told Good Morning Europe. "She was really really down, and just desperate, having been put back into prison."

She was allowed to have a family visit after her stay in hospital and saw her daughter.