Editor’s comment: Hunt must end torment of Nazanin

PUBLISHED: 08:30 09 August 2018

Nazanin and Richard Ratcliffe with daughter Gabriella

Nazanin and Richard Ratcliffe with daughter Gabriella


I’m pleased to hear Richard Ratcliffe’s meeting with Jeremy Hunt went well.

Nazanin’s family have fought tirelessly for more than two years to get her home to West Hampstead where she belongs, and it must have been so frustrating to see their third foreign secretary since April 2016 wheeled onto the front bench – another person to brief, to appeal to, to form a relationship with.

It’s a sad fact that in that time they’ve also been through two Ham&High editors, and I’ll be having my own meeting with Richard in the coming days at which I, too, must put them through another round of introductions and attempt clumsily to show my genuine willing to do everything I can to help them. A new reporter, Sam, will be coming with me.

It is a professional rite of passage – not to mention an honour – to be introduced to the people at the heart of a community when taking on a new paper.

But it is an outrage that this campaign for justice has become a long-term community cause when Nazanin should have been home long ago – should never, it goes without saying, have been imprisoned. It is a disgusting human rights violation whose end should have been and gone. What about Nazanin’s own rites of passage? What about spending her daughter’s birthday with her family? What about the involvement she cannot enjoy with the community in West Hampstead? What about the life she should be living with her husband and their incredible, brave little daughter? What about the new friends and colleagues she should be meeting, just as I have met both in my own new(ish) job?

Nazanin has been robbed of these rites of passage and until she is free again to experience them, a terrible injustice is being committed.

We, like her family, will be watching closely to find out if Mr Hammond’s words translate into actions – and to demand that they do. No more foreign secretaries; no more editors until she is free.

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