Delight as Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s toddler gets her passport back
PUBLISHED: 09:09 10 May 2017 | UPDATED: 09:25 10 May 2017
The daughter of West Hampstead mum Nazanin, who has lived with her Iranian grandparents since her mother’s arrest, might come home.
When Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested at Tehran airport on April 3 by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, her daughter Gabriella, now two, who she had taken on a family holiday, also had her passport seized.
Gabriella, Gisou in Farsi, has been living with her Iranian grandparents while her mother has been imprisoned in Evin jail.
The Ratcliffe family reported the good news that after 397 days, Gabriella’s passport has finally been returned.
Nazanin’s husband, Richard, of Fortis Green Road, plans to visit his daughter in Iran for the first time since the arrest this summer, to discuss Gabriella’s future with her, and whether she should stay in Iran or England.
While she is in Iran, Gabriella can still visit and play with her mother, even if it is while she is in prison.
Richard wrote to the Iranian Embassy on Monday, thanking them for the release of Gabriella’s passport and for their offer of a special humanitarian visa to visit Iran.
He wrote to ambassador Hamid Baeidinejad: “I would also like to acknowledge my thanks for the return of Gabriella’s passport at the end of last week to her grandparents. I regard her now as no longer formally detained by the Iranian authorities.”
Richard has also asked for Nazanin, a dual British-Iranian national, to receive her first visit by the British ambassador in Iran.
Iran has said it does not recognise dual nationality and has so far denied Nazanin consular access.
He also asked for Nazanin to be able to see copies of the charges against her for the first time, for her five year sentence.
Richard previously said Gabriella speaks Farsi and is forgetting her English.
He also said that his daughter had seen a child psychologist, who said that while she is a normal two-year-old, she could spend more time with children her own age, rather than just her grandparents.
Richard told the Ham&High: “She’s quite wary of abandonment. If she’s told off by her granny she gets very upset.”
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who worked as a media charity worker with Thomson Reuters, was arrested on April 3.
Her appeal against her five year sentence was rejected in January.
Iran has arrested several Iranians holding dual nationality, including Canadian and American citizens, in the last year.