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Friday March 24, 2017

British-Iranian charity worker and mother of baby detained in Iran without charge

Ms. Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a 37 year old British-Iranian charity worker, has been detained by the Iranian regime's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and held in solitary confinement without charge, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has reported.

Ms. Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was travelling back home to London after a two week holiday in Tehran to visit her family. She was travelling with her one-year old baby daughter Gabriella when she was stopped at the check-in desk at the airport on 3rd April. She was then separated from her daughter and then transported to an unknown detention centre around 1,000 km away in the Kerman Province.

The British passport of Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe was confiscated along with that of her baby.

The Independent newspaper reported on Monday that Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s family have issued an urgent appeal for British Prime Minister David Cameron to overturn her “outrageous and arbitrary” detention.

Her British husband, Richard Ratcliffe, speaking to the newspaper, said that his wife is subject to daily interrogations, has had no access to a lawyer and is not being given access to her baby daughter who is being looked after by her grandparents. The family have learnt that she signed a confession under duress, but they have no idea of the contents.

Mr. Ratcliffe in an address to the British Prime Minister said: “Please, do whatever you can to bring my wife home and bring my daughter home.” He said it is “absolutely crazy” that his wife is involved in anything so serious and is concerned that this itself will bring “suffering and cruelty” to her family in Iran.

He said that authorities in Iran have confirmed that they are holding his wife, but they would not state exactly on what grounds. All they have said is that it is a “serious investigation involving national security”.

His mother, Barbara Ratcliffe, said that the whole family is “frantically worried about Nazanin’s safety”.

Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager for the Thomson Reuters Foundation development charity, had made four visits to see family in Iran since the birth of her daughter in June 2014.

 

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokeswoman told The Independent: “We have been providing support to the family of a British-Iranian national since we were first informed of her arrest, and will continue to do so.”


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