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To feel really concerned for jailed Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe?

(48 Posts)
Bluemoon49 Wed 30-Nov-16 17:14:07

There have been threads about this before but just thought I would bring it up again to see how many others are aware of this case and what you all think?

As you may know, Nazanin is a British citizen with dual Iranian citizenship. She lives in London with her husband and baby daughter and worked for the charitable arm of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Earlier this year, in May, she made her usual two week visit to her parents in Iran but on attempting to return home to the UK she was arrested at Tehran Airport on 3rd April. She was not not told the reason for her arrest, but taken to solitary confinement while her daughter's passport was confiscated. For forty five days she was kept in solitary confinement without charge, without being told what she had done wrong and without being allowed access to her parents and daughter or even a phone call.

She has since been moved to Evin prison in Tehran (which is infamous for its harsh conditions and physical and psychological torture) and was recently sentenced to five years imprisonment based on unspecified charges relating to "national security". The Iranian authorities are accusing her of being part of a plot to overthrow the government and for being a British spy. She was not allowed to consult with a lawyer until the day before her trial and her sentencing was passed without solid evidence to support the alleged offences. Therefore Amnesty International believe that she has not been given a fair trial.

Nazanin's husband Ritchard has been campaigning tirelessly since her arrest through, facebook and numerous letters to the Foreign Office. He has said from the beginning that the allegations are beyond ridiculous - she is a British charity worker with a young daughter who was simply visiting her parents.

The calls for her release are backed by Amnesty International and 117 British MPs as well as over 800,000 people who signed the original petition on Yet the government has done very little to help her case; Theresa May and Boris Johnson have expressed concern for Nazanin but talked of the difficulty they face in approaching the situation because Iran does not recognise her British citizenship. The UK has continued to hold trade conferences with Iran yet has never called for Nazanin's release. Her husband has put forward a theory that the Iranian government is holing Nazanin as a bargaining chip against the UK - this is based on Nazanin being told by the Revolutionary Guard that she is being held as an "exchange" and Richard receiving a message to let the UK government know that 'an agreement' needs to be reached. He also points out that Nazanin's arrest coincided with a break down in negotiations between the UK and Iran (in May). Obviously there's no solid proof that this is true and the UK government has dismissed these suggestions but it does seem to make sense. Either way it is highly unlikely that Nazanin was indeed trying to 'topple' the Iranian government and Amnesty believe she is being falsely imprisoned.

According to Ritchard, Nazanin is now at breaking point. Her physical health is deteriorating; she is suffering chest pains, heart palpitations, muscle pains and blurred vision. Psychologically she is struggling to cope; she has told her family that she cannot go on much longer and has thought seriously about committing suicide.

I just feel so sorry for this woman and her family. She has been imprisoned for eight months now and the situation is extremely worrying. If something is not done soon, I'm worried what the outcome will be.

Whether she is indeed being held as a 'bargaining chip' by the Iranian authorities or not, I feel the UK government should be doing more. I understand the difficulty that her dual citizenship creates - Iran doesn't recognise her as a British citizen and therefore will not take kindly to our government trying to intervene. However, other countries have succeeded in the past in getting access to their citizens and securing their release - surely the Foreign Office could do more?

I think the only way our government will take action is if enough people voice their concern about it. If you want to do something to help Nazanin there are a few ways you can use your voice to speak up for her and ask the government to intervene...

There are petitions calling for Nazanin's release on and Amnesty International which you can sign:

Amnesty International are running their annual Write for Rights campaign. They ask you to write a card or letter to the person who is imprisoned, to let them know you are thinking of them and they are not alone (which Nazanin is in great need of!) They also ask you to write to the relevant leaders to call on them to take action.
Here is the link (you can find Nazanin's details in the campaign booklet)

You can write to your MPs and ask them, if they haven't done so already, to sign the letter from Tulip Siddiq to Boris Johnson, calling on him to use the recently improved relations with Iran to negotiate Nazanin's release (as well as the release of two other British-Iranians held on similarly arbitrary charges.) This has already been signed by 117 MPs and peers and was presented to the Foreign Office last month. They are hoping to present it again in December if more MPs sign.

There is an Early Day Motion sponsored by Tom Brake MP, which aims to get Nazanin's case debated in parliament and calls on the government to demand her release, that you can urge your MPs to sign.

You can also spread the word among your friends and family, share on facebook, tweet or whatever you like to do! flowers

timelytess Wed 30-Nov-16 17:17:02

You are right to be concerned. I have a card and letter here for her, to post tomorrow.

Please write urgently, and express your support.

EssentialHummus Wed 30-Nov-16 17:18:33

Thank you for sharing this. I saw an interview with her husband on Sky last week, and his helplessness and fear that his wife would starve herself or commit suicide was heartbreaking to see.

I believe they also have a very young daughter, also stuck in Iran with GPs.

Bluemoon49 Thu 01-Dec-16 18:37:51

That's great to hear timelytess, I really hope she is allowed to receive them.

And yes Hummus, DD is with GPs. It's terrible to think she could grow up without both her parents sad

EssentialHummus Thu 01-Dec-16 19:36:44

Bumping for you.

MassDebate Thu 01-Dec-16 19:47:22

YANBU. It's an appalling situation and the fact the the UK is engaging in trade negotiations with Iran shows where their priorities lie angry

HVB79 Thu 08-Dec-16 20:30:17

I'm really concerned about her too. Hopefully others will see this and sign the petition/write to their MPs.

elpth Fri 09-Dec-16 13:30:10

This is a friend of a friend which somehow makes it feel even more horrifying than it is already. Please do what you can everyone.

IdaDown Fri 09-Dec-16 14:14:03

Why is her daughter not allow to leave Iran?

It's 'complicated' when a suspect/convict has dual nationality, but does the daughter have dual nationality?

Even if she does, she's a child and I thought under the Shairia system, the father has more rights to the child. An argument for the child to leave the country?

Oh wait, this is Iran...

Anyone with dual nationality will be thinking very hard about visiting relatives in certain countries.

EssentialHummus Fri 09-Dec-16 14:48:04

I believe Iran doesn't recognise dual nationality, Ida.

HVB79 Fri 09-Dec-16 17:50:55

I've sent a card today. Do you think she will be allowed to read them? I can't believe the Government isn't doing more to get her out.

JurassicFart Fri 09-Dec-16 18:02:28

I've been following this story. It's heartbreaking. Can only imagine what her husband and family are going through.

MassDebate Sat 10-Dec-16 07:53:02

The daughter is a British citizen (not dual national). She can't leave because (a) the authorities have confiscated her passport and (b) only a parent can take her out of the country. Her dad has applied for a visa to visit Iran (despite the security risks for himself) and asked for consular assistance to collect Gabriella but so far, months later, nothing has happened.

Christmasmice Sat 10-Dec-16 08:18:58

I've been following this story for some time and it's tragic. What she must be going through.

HVB79 Mon 12-Dec-16 17:26:30

I hadn't realised that about the visa. It must be so hard for all of them.
For those who know the family, please pass on our best wishes and keep suggesting ways we can help.
Hopefully more people will see this thread and sign the petition.

BiscuitMillionaire Mon 12-Dec-16 17:48:45

Shocking story, how heartbreaking for all the family, and for an innocent mother to be separated from her baby. Signed petition and shared on fb.

Fieldsandgrasses Mon 12-Dec-16 18:02:59

Thank you for raising this, I'm going to write to her. Have been following her case and horrified by it. Can't help but feel Boris is being utterly ineffectual.

HVB79 Mon 12-Dec-16 18:50:49

I agree re Boris. Am quite surprised the story isn't in the mainstream news more often too. It's heartbreaking and outrageous in equal measure.

elpth Thu 22-Dec-16 12:16:54

Bumping for Christmas

zsazsagaboredom Thu 22-Dec-16 12:20:03

Ditto elpth

RandomMess Thu 22-Dec-16 12:23:39

Can I ask, do you really think she is allowed to receive her mail sad I will write but I do wonder if they let her have any contact from the outside at all sad

Olddear Thu 22-Dec-16 12:58:17

Did I read somewhere her daughter is now back in the UK with her father?

honeylulu Thu 22-Dec-16 13:04:07

Gabriella (the daughter) is still in Iran with her grandparents according to the Evening Standard this week.She now only speaks Farsi and has forgotten all her English.
I know Richard's cousin (though I don't actually know the couple) and the family is beyond belief that nazanin is still in prison. We expected it to be a matter of days at first.

MadisonAvenue Thu 22-Dec-16 13:11:04

Olddear, I've done a search and can't see anything online that says that her daughter is here with her father.
We're making Woolly Hugs blankets for Nazanin and her daughter and someone connected to the family is helping pass them on. The last information she posted was a couple of weeks ago, saying Nazanin's husband is trying to get out to Iran.

zsazsagaboredom Thu 22-Dec-16 13:19:21

random Around Gabriela's birthday, Richard (or his family) asked for birthday cards to be sent to her c/o the Iranian embassy. Who knows whether Nazanin actually gets to read her mail. It's still a powerful message - even if only to her family and/or captors. If you sign the Change petition you can get email updates on Nazanin's case:

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