Hope as West Hampstead mother moved out of solitary confinement and given access to lawyer
PUBLISHED: 09:26 19 May 2016 | UPDATED: 09:49 19 May 2016
A West Hampstead mother who is being held without charge in Iran was today moved out of solitary confinement and will be allowed access to a lawyer.
Husband Richard Ratcliffe, 41, of Fortune Green Road, announced the news this morning as he was preparing to present his a petition to free his wife and baby daughter, with more than half a million signatures, to Prime Minister David Cameron at midday today.
He said: “Today Nazanin told her family that she has been moved out of solitary confinement to a group cell, in prison in Kerman.
“Nazanin also told her family that she is to be allowed access to a lawyer approved by the Iranian authorities.
“As her husband, I am thrilled by the news that Nazanin might be no longer in solitary confinement, for what this means for Nazanin’s welfare, and for the hope it gives all of us in the family for a positive outcome. I thank everyone for their parts in making this happen.”
The Ham&High today devotes its front page to Mr Ratcliffe’s campaign to bring home his wife and baby daughter Gabriella after they were seized by Iranian authorities at Tehran’s main airport as they prepared to fly home on April 3.
Gabriella, 22 months, has had her British passport confiscated and is stranded in Iran with her grandparents.
Charity worker Nazanin, an active member of the Hampstead Mums Facebook group, was transferred to an unknown location in the Kerman province, south of Tehran, and for 42 days until nowhas been held in solitary confinement.
Mr Ratcliffe said: “Nazanin’s and Gabriella’s family would like to express our deepest thanks to every one of the half a million people who have signed our petition over the past 10 days. It is that overwhelming level of public concern, in the UK, Iran and elsewhere, that will bring them home.”
Yesterday Mr Ratcliffe along with representatives from Hamsptead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq’s office met Foreign Office officials and urged them to put pressure on the Iranian government to bring Nazanin and Gabriella home.
Read more about Nazanin’s story and see her precious family photos in today’s edition of the Ham&High