Nazanin’s very strong, she will recover, says expert who assessed her in jail

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe returns to UK after six year detention

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Dr Lilla Hardi, right, medical director of Cordelia Foundation for the Rehabilitation of Torture Victims, was one of two experts who carried out a remote medico-legal examination of Nazanin. It showed she was being tortured in the Iranian prisons where she was held captive for six years.

Their report is thought to have been pivotal in changing the UK Government’s public stance towards Nazanin’s treatment, which was recognised as torture. It had previously been described by ministers as “an ordeal”.

The report said Nazanin’s only hope of recovery would be if she was reunited with husband Richard and daughter Gabriella. It found her treatment had included being blindfolded, chained to her bed, forced to spend extended periods in solitary confinement, refused water and taunted with the presence of her daughter outside her cell door.

Dr Hardi said: “Trauma of this kind harms a person at a very base level. Torture causes physical, psychological, social and spiritual harm. This is the beginning of a new journey for Nazanin and she will need support and rehabilitation after such a horrific experience.

“But I am nearly 100 per cent convinced Nazanin will recover. She is a very strong and very intelligent woman. I believe in her and I believe in her recovery.”

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