Hampstead mums launch Mother’s Day campaign for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe jailed in Iran
PUBLISHED: 12:00 17 March 2017 | UPDATED: 16:28 20 March 2017
A parents group has launched a social media campaign to raise Nazanin’s profile, as her husband Richard publishes a heartbreaking letter to him from her cell in Tehran.
The Hampstead Mums community group are urging to tweet and write Facebook posts about Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe held in Evin prison, with the hashtag #FreeNazanin, to keep her name in the public eye for Mother’s Day on March 26.
Nazanin, 38, from West Hampstead, imprisoned in Iran for 347 days, has not yet been allowed medical attention.
Her two-year-old daughter, Gabriella, is staying with her grandparents in Iran as her passport has been confiscated.
Nazanin’s husband, accountant Richard Ratcliffe, said that the family is still waiting for Nazanin to be hospitalised after an urgent recommendation from a neurologist three weeks ago.
Nazanin’s recent MRI results have shown the problem in her neck is one of the discs out of place, not the vertebrae themselves.
Richard wrote on his change.org petition which calls on Prime Minister Theresa May to intervene to free Nazanin and has almost 900,000 signatures: “It is her shoulder and arm that need the urgent attention.
“She still talks of searing pains in her neck and back, increasingly constant numbness in her hands and ability to move them, and her hair is still falling out, and she was again unable to join in many evening activities (even the reading group), but she did not pass out this week. And she is being tested for her thyroid.”
As previously reported by the Ham&High, Nazanin, who has dual Iranian and British nationality, and worked as a media charity worker with Thomson Reuters, was arrested with her daughter at Tehran airport, as they returned from a holiday on April 3.
Richard was also able to share a very eloquent letter from Nazanin to him, first published by Defenders of Human Rights Centre, which fights for the rights of political prisoners in Iran.
Nazanin writes: “A year has gone by since our embrace and kiss in London when I was on my way to Iran. Gisou (Gabriella in Farsi) and I had packed only for a two-week trip to spend Norooz 1395 (Persian New Year, March, 2016) with our family in Tehran.
“A trip that didn’t return us back home.”
“Our Gisou has grown taller. She now understands very well that her father and mother are not together. Father is in London and mother is far away living in a room where we have been visiting each other during all this time.
“She has completely forgotten your language. At the same time, her Persian is so sweet. I often wonder in what language you communicate with each other. The most painful part of this whole affair is that neither of us have witnessed our daughter grow up. Neither of us.
The country we were once proud of has robbed us both of seeing the golden years of our daughter’s life. It has accused me of committing something I have not done.
“Shockingly it has condemned me to five years in prison, which I have to spend away from you and our dear Gisou.”
She adds: “The night before our Gisou was born, when I was struggling with the labour pain, I thought I would die of pain and would never see our daughter. Then I thought there is nothing more painful than that.
“In solitary, there was a moment when I realised that there is a level of pain that I hadn’t experience before, a pain thousands of times longer, more overwhelming than child birth, without a happy ending.
“Still I cannot describe it, but little by little I learned how to fight it...
“But hold my hands, let us finish this chapter. We shall overcome this pain. Today freedom has got one day closer. And I will return, once again, to the city that I loved. I will embrace you in my anguish.
“There is an alley inside that we yet haven’t explored, A journey that I haven’t yet gone with you, Days and nights that I haven’t yet spent with you, Love poems that I haven’t yet shared.”