Three reports and updates on Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe’s arbitrary detention:
‘David Cameron hung this British ‘hostage’ out to dry before leaving office’ on 13 July 2016:
David Cameron has declined to condemn Iran’s dubious detention of a British citizen. Will Theresa May intervene to reunite this young mother with her family?
On 12 June 2016 12.30pm, Richard Ratcliffe approached the steps of Downing Street with a letter to appeal to the prime minister, David Cameron – one last task before he leaves office.
The date was significant as it marked 100 days since Richard’s wife, Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe, was detained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. There was no mention of any crime, no formalities of arrest.
Travelling to Iran with her two year old daughter, Gabriella, Nazanin’s family holiday had unexpectedly turned into a nightmare.
‘Theresa May’s silence on plight of British mother in Islamist detention is sickening‘ on 3 August 2016:
After 121 days in arbitrary detention under the purview of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, a British citizen, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, is being prosecuted following an indictment on 11 July. Campaign organisations believe Iran has accused her trying to soft-topple the Iranian government through her role in a media organisation. But further evidence suggests she is in fact being persecuted as part of a political campaign.
Last month, The Canary reported on the detention without charge since 3 April 2016 of Nazanin, who holds dual British-Iranian nationality.
On 1 August, Nazanin telephoned her husband, Richard Ratcliffe to inform him she had already had her first court session the day before, under Judge Abolghasem Salivate. A lawyer has now been approved by the judge and her father-in-law, her UK lawyer, is hoping to travel to Iran to observe the situation once his visa is approved.
‘115 MPs urge Boris Johnson to act, as the government abandons 3 British citizens abroad‘ on 12 October 2016:
Three British citizens are being held in detention abroad after reportedly unfair trials. And so far, David Cameron, Theresa May, and Boris Johnson have all played a part in hanging them out to dry. But after long campaigns, their family members are now making another symbolic plea for Foreign Secretary Johnson to intervene.
A call for government action
On 24 October, Richard Ratcliffe and Kamran Faroughi delivered a letter to Boris Johnson. The letter asked the government to use its recently restored relations with Iran to seek the immediate release of three British-Iranian prisoners in the country. In particular, it called for the return of Kamal Foroughi (held for 2,000 days on 24 October), Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe (204 days), and Roya Nobakht (1,116 days). (Note: Richard Ratcliffe is Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband, and Kamran Faroughi is Kamal Faroughi’s son.)
115 MPs signed the letter, which highlighted the very strong health and humanitarian grounds for the prisoners’ release. The document also spoke of concerns about the standards of their trial.
Here’s the ruthless game the government is playing with one mother’s life, and it’s absolutely sickening
The Canary has previously reported on Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s case, and her husband has been campaigning tirelessly for her release. He has been asking Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to intervene. But they’ve been of little assistance. And we may now have an idea why.
As reported (paywall) in The Sunday Times, the UK made a £650m deal with Iran in 1979 – just before the Iranian Revolution. Iran was due to receive 1,500 tanks and 250 repair vehicles. And it paid all the money. But as power changed hands in Iran, the UK only delivered 185 tanks.
Since then, there have been legal proceedings to recoup the money owed. In 2010, a European court ruled that the UK must pay the £400m owed. It cannot pay the money directly to Iran’s defence ministry due to sanctions, but there may be other ways it can repay it.