The husband of a British charity worker, currently imprisioned in Iran, has issued another desperate statement for his wife to be released, pleading with the British government to intervene and the international community to put pressure on the Iranian Regime.
Nazanin Ratcliffe, a British charity worker, was arrested back in April while visiting her parents in Iran. She was with her then one-year-old daughter Gabriella, who has since been released to the care of Nazanin’s parents.
Her husband, Richard, has accused the British government of not working fast enough to secure the release of Nazanin or Gabriella. Both of their passports were seized by the IRGC and so the Regime is essentially holding two British citizens hostage on bogus charges.
Richard wrote: “My instincts here are to fight for Nazanin: it is nonsense, the UK government should be doing more, that ‘Hold women and children for political ransom’ is not a commandment anywhere in the Quran. There is a danger that my voice gets changed through the refractions of the media in this campaigning.”
Richard wrote that in a phone call Nazanin told him: “Five years is ridiculous. For what? It is 4 months since you began negotiations, over a month since Theresa May raised the case with President Rouhani. Nothing is happening. I am sick of being used in these negotiations.”
The Iranian Regime accused Nazanin of attempting to overthrow the regime and held her for five months without charge before sentencing her to five years’ imprisonment on national security charges.
National security charges in Iran are very much the equivalent of throwing enough mud at somebody and seeing what sticks. They are intentionally vague so that they can be applied to a variety of situations; protesting poor employment conditions, supporting opposition political parties or visiting the country with your infant daughter.
He said: “Various people are talking for Nazanin these days. But also talking through her – sentencing her as a way of pressuring the UK, playing Iranian politics. The Revolutionary Guard are using her to sing its song. They are using her (and me) to speak. She remains their tool, as much as their asset.”
Iran has a horrifying relationship with human rights abuses; the UN secretary general report estimates that nearly 1,000 people were executed in 2015. This is the highest level in the past 50 years