Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a 37 year old dual nationality charity worker, was on holiday visiting her family in Iran. She was at the airport returning to the UK on the 3rd April when she was detained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. She was transferred to an unknown location in Kerman Province, 1,000 kilometres south of Tehran, and was held in solitary confinement until May and in September was sentenced to 5 years for secret reasons. She was kept in high security and went on a hunger strike to protest her incarceration. Her mental health deteriorated to the point where she had considered suicide after being kept in both solitary confinement and cramped quarters for months at a time. Since her move from high security to a prison ward in December she has collapsed several times and struggles to use her hands and arms due to problems with her neck and spine from being kept in such conditions .
The UN have issued a number of statements: Five UN Special Rapporteurs endorsed a statement calling Nazanin’s case a “mockery of justice.” The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention ruled Nazanin’s detention arbitrary, and an unfair trial. They demanded she be released immediately, be compensated, and referred her case to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. They warned that systematically imprisoning dual nationals “may constitute a crime against humanity.”
Amnesty believe her imprisonment to be related to her working for the BBC as the Iranian authorities loathe the BBC’s Persian-language news service, which millions of Iranians watch illegally.
Richard Ratcliffe, Nazanin's husband believes her imprisonment is as collateral as the UK owes Iran a large debt (£500 million) in relation to some Chieftain tanks – which were paid up front and never delivered 40 years ago. Iran took the UK to the International Court of Arbitration and won back in 2010, but still havn't been paid.
What makes this worse is that Gabriella Ratcliffe, Nazanin's 22 month old daughter (who has British citizenship only) was with Nazanin in Iran had her British passport confiscated, and was stranded in Iran with her grandparents, and still is. She is growing up without a Mother or Father.
The show we are creating aims to highlight the struggle this family has gone through and is still going through and to raise awareness of the injustice happening everyday.
The Petition to bring Nazanin home can be found at this link: https://www.change.org/p/free-nazanin-ratcliffe?recruiter=57090687&utm_source=petitions_show_components_action_panel_wrapper&utm_medium=copylink