Family receive £125,000 ransom demand to free West Hampstead mum Nazanin from Iranian jail

PUBLISHED: 10:15 28 January 2017 | UPDATED: 07:06 31 January 2017

Nazanin and Richard Ratcliffe with daughter Gabriella

Nazanin and Richard Ratcliffe with daughter Gabriella


The family of West Hampstead mum Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe have reported that they have received an offer to arrange Nazanin’s release from jail in return for paying a ransom of 600 million Iranian toman to a fixer - the equivalent of £125,000.

Nazanin with her daughter GabriellaNazanin with her daughter Gabriella

The demand was made by someone claiming to have “connections with the Judiciary” to facilitate her release.

But it has been rejected by Nazanin’s husband RIchard Ratcliffe who has branded the fixer as an opportunist making a “predatory attempt” to exploit his family’s vulnerability.

Richard revealed that the offer was made to Nazanin’s Iranian family on Thursday night via a relative who had been approached.

But he said: “It is unlikely the person had an official mandate from the Judiciary to negotiate. We believe them to be someone looking to exploit the vulnerable situation of Nazanin’s family, moved to look at desperate options following the inexplicable failure of her appeal.

“In return for payment the contact promised was to liaise with judiciary officials to quietly arrange her release. Payment would have been required only upon release,” he added.

As reported in the Ham&High, on April 3 charity worker Nazanin - who has dual Iranian and British nationality - was arrested with Gabriella, at Tehran airport as they prepared to return home from a holiday visiting her parents.

Nazanin was thrown into jail without charge and Gabriella’s British passport was confiscated.

The toddler is now being looked after by her Iranian grandparents.

In August Nazanin was sentenced to five years in jail with no clear charges. Her family launched an appeal which was heard by the Revolutionary Court on January 4. Nazanin and daughter Gabriella

Last week her appeal against her sentence was rejected by the Iranian Revolutionary Court.

Although the exact charges against Nazanin have never been officially revealed, her Iranian lawyer has now been told she has been charged with: “Membership of organisations aimed at disrupting national security.” He has provided no further comment to the family.

Richard said that he was making the ransom offer and his family’s refusal public as a message to others who try to exploit his family.

“The emotional strain of this experience for my wider family continues to astonish. This is a predatory attempt to exploit a suffering family. It also highlights the attempts to exploit the legal system. I continue to hope that justice is served,”he said.

“Our view is that her case is one that requires government level negotiations, where encouraging these kinds of offers risks creating all sorts of disruptions and additional claims.

“I have reassured my family in Iran, that although it looks bleak, the UK is continuing to negotiate to end her ordeal. Nazanin is not abandoned; we will bring her home. This nightmare will end.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

28 minutes ago

On April 1 the resounding sounds of a “quiet drink” will echo around Hampstead as a group of rugby players return to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their club.

A community desperately trying to protect a Highgate nature reserve from traffic has slammed the council for offering developers a temporary licence to drive lorries over Parkland Walk.

29 minutes ago

Students at St Anthony’s School for Girls embraced new technology by building robots and rockets as part of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) week.

Yesterday, 16:53

Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq has confirmed she is safe and well after a suspected terrorist attack near the Houses of Parliament.

Yesterday, 14:52

The Golders Green war memorial, designed without a crucifix because of the Jewish population in the area who had lost loved ones, could be knocked down and moved elsewhere.

Yesterday, 13:45

A group of fearless Coleridge Primary School students have taken a public speaking competition by storm.

Yesterday, 11:54

Channing School has been getting the dads on board as part of an awareness campaign to eradicate gender inequality in the workplace.

Tue, 19:34

Violent disorder with weapons in Queen’s Crescent has led to a dispersal zone authorisation.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news


Show Job Lists


The Ham&High has teamed up with Weber® to celebrate the launch of its innovative Genesis® II collection at Weber® World at Sunshine Garden Centre in London.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now