UK Government should do more to free Nazanin Ratcliffe

UK Government should do more to free Nazanin Ratcliffe

Published by on November 12, 2017

The family of the Iranian born British citizen Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was arrested in April 2016 in Iran while returning from a family visit, are anxious about her condition and physical and mental wellbeing. The remarks by Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, in the parliament earlier this month has not helped her and worse, it has encouraged Iranian officials to level new charges against her.

Mr Johnson had mistakenly said that the British-Iranian mother was “training journalists” in Iran, a comment that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) who had arrested her in the first place, seized upon to justify the arrest.

Boris Johnson later said the government has “no doubt” she was on holiday “and that was the sole purpose of her visit”.
Iranian lawyer and Nobel laureate, Shirin Ebadi, told reports over the weekend that the government should downgrade its diplomatic ties with Iran in order to secure the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, has been detained on spying charges while visiting family in Iran with her daughter Gabriella, who is now three. Nazanin’s parents are taking care of Gabriella in Iran while her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, is in the UK. Mr Ratcliffe has worked tirelessly to bring his wife home and has recently asked Mr Johnson to take him to Iran so he can see his wife and daughter.

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Abolish death penalty

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Dear Secretary General of United Nations,

The number of executions is rising in Iran, journalists are being detained for doing their job and activists face cruel and degrading punishments, long prison terms and even execution. According to the most recent reports by Amnesty International and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, “Iran’s judiciary continues to sentence child offenders to death, and carry out their execution by hanging”. Also, on August 9th, 2016 the son of late Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, Khomeini’s designated successor in 1988, published a shocking audio tape of his father’s meeting with the “Death Commission” which summarily and extra-judicially executed tens of thousands of political prisoners held in jails across Iran. The massacre was carried out on the basis of a fatwa by the regime’s then-Supreme Leader Khomeini.

We, the undersigned, hereby urge you to take up this issue and raise it in the General Assembly in order to;

1. Put pressure on Iran to immediately halt the executions and abolish death penalty in Iran.
2. Call on all Western governments to make any improvement in economic relations with Iran contingent on its human rights record.
3. Demand in its resolution on human rights violations in Iran, to bring the perpetrators of 1988 massacre (one of the worst atrocities the post-war world has ever seen – Geoffrey Robertson-QC) to justice before an international tribunal.

Executions must stop.

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