Today marks 2,000 days since Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe was detained, the equivalent of five and a half years. Richard Ratcliffe’s MP, Tulip Siddiq said ‘ Boris Johnsonneeds to get off his backside’
Saving jailed Brit Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe must be a “priority” for new Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, her husband has warned.
Richard Ratcliffe told the Mirror he’s been “pleasantly surprised” with Ms Truss’s efforts to save Nazanin so far, and she is even set to speak with Nazanin later today.
He told the Mirror: “Dominic Raab made quite a lot of effort on Nazanin’s case. I was quite disconcerted by the reshuffle.
“He made time to speak to her, speak to me. So you always worry where you are in the pecking order of the new Government.
“And it will take some time for them to work out their priorities. Dominic Raab definitely became more invested as the case went on.”
Today marks 2,000 days since Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe was detained, the equivalent of five and a half years.
Tayfun Salci/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock)
She was held in Tehran in 2016 on national security charges while taking her daughter Gabriella to see her family.
Gabriella, now 6, was throwing a large dice across a giant snakes and ladders board outside Parliament which symbolises the feeling of being “caught in a game between two governments”.
The six year old also laid photos of her mum in front of photographers in a bid to make sure they would focus their attention on her mother.
Mr Ratcliffe had been told the ex-Foreign Secretary would start “pushing harder and harder” after recess if Nazanin hadn’t been released before July.
“Talk is cheap now. I just want her home,” Mr Ratcliffe said.
Tayfun Salci / Avalon)
Ms Truss has said she is “working tirelessly” to secure the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and will continue to “until she returns home”.
Labour’s Tulip Siddiq, Richard Ratcliffe’s local MP, arrived at the protest with Janet Daby. Stella Creasy and Tobias Ellwood made an effort to stand in solidarity with Mr Ratliffe.
Ms Siddiq told The Mirror: “Boris Johnson needs to get off his backside.
“We’ve had enough of the Government’s warm words. What we need is decisive action. She is held as a hostage. We know it’s linked to the debt the UK owes Iran.
“For 2000 days, this woman hasn’t been with her family. Nazanin says she wants another child and that time is running out for her.
“She wants to return here and do something about it, solve the debt and bring her back.”
The children of Anoosheh Ashoori came to the protest, standing side by side with Richard Ratcliffe and also to raise awareness of their dad’s imprisonment.
Elika and Aryan worry that their dad “feels forgotten” so we’re doing as much as we can to make sure that “enough is being done here”.
Martyn Wheatley / i-Images)
Aryan added: “It’s hard because I feel guilty when I forget for a moment that dad is still being held hostage. It may just be a second. And then I become frustrated that I haven’t done enough work to highlight his case.”
Elika added: “We have teamed up with Richard to campaign for the freedom of all the dual hostages in Iran for some time now.
“We’ve reached that stage that doing more events like this highlights that there’s more than one family affected and there’s plenty of hurdles to finding freedom.”
Speaking on Mr Raab’s efforts to save their dad, Aryan said: “Ms Truss wasn’t trying to connect to us on a human level as much as Dominic Raab did. He was a lot more emotionally engaging. Ms Truss was much more to the point and insisted she will do her best.”
Over in the Commons, Shadow Commons speaker Thangam Debbonaire raised awareness of Mr Ratcliffe’s demonstration and said “A demonstration is taking place to raise awareness of Nazanin’s case, of Anoosheh Ashoori’s, and of countless others imprisoned there.
“When will the Government bring them home?”
Commons Leader Mr Rees-Mogg replied: “I hope she is assured to note that the Foreign Secretary (Liz Truss) raised this issue and said that it was quite inexcusable for Nazanin to still be detained by the Iranian authorities as one of the first things she said as Foreign Secretary.
“It is inexcusable Nazanin is still held and the Government will push the Iranian authorities as far as we can.”