Reuters – Jailed British-Iranian charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is in good health, Iran’s judiciary spokesman said on Tuesday, after her husband said on Saturday he believed she had contracted the coronavirus in prison.
“Mrs. Nazanin Zaghari, we looked into it and she is in good health,” Gholamhossein Esmaili said. “Yesterday, she had contact with her family and told them about her good health.”
Iran has had the highest number of deaths from coronavirus outside of China, where the virus originated.
So far there have been 66 deaths from coronavirus and 1501 people infected, Iran’s health ministry announced on Monday, and Iranian officials have expressed concerns about a possible outbreak in prisons.
On Saturday, Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband Richard Ratcliffe said campaigners believed she had contracted the coronavirus in Tehran’s Evin prison, blaming a lack of hygiene material for inmates.
“We are concerned by the prison authorities refusal to test her, and the wider suppression of coronavirus inside the Iranian prison system,” he said.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was arrested in April 2016 at a Tehran airport as she headed back to Britain with her daughter after a family visit.
She was sentenced to five years in jail after being convicted of plotting to overthrow Iran’s clerical establishment. Her family and the foundation, a charity that operates independently of media firm Thomson Reuters and its news subsidiary Reuters, deny the charge.
Ratcliffe set up the “Free Nazanin” campaign group and has lobbied the UK government to secure his wife’s release from prison, but those calls have so far been dismissed by Tehran.
Reporting By Babak Dehghanpisheh; Editing by Alison Williams