Husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe to refer her case to the United Nations

PUBLISHED: 16:34 26 January 2018 | UPDATED: 16:46 26 January 2018

Nazanin with baby Gabriella

Nazanin with baby Gabriella


The husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is calling on United Nations to intervene in his wife’s case claiming the degrading cruel and inhumane way she has been treated in an Iranian jail amounts to torture.

Richard Ratcliffe is to refer her case to the UN special rapporteur on Torture in a desperate bid to bring an end to his wife’s extreme psychological torment inside Tehran’s notorious Evin prison.

Richard said that the Christmas period was “unbearable” for Nazanin and for him as their hopes were raised by false rumours and messages from Iranian officials that she would be released from prison in time for Christmas.

This followed a visit to Iran by foreign secretary Boris Johnson who promised to raise her case with Iranian authorities. Following the visit the family’s hopes were raised when her case papers were marked as “eligible for early release.”

But Richard said: “Over Christmas we were waiting and hoped. The Iranian embassy and prison guards were all giving us the messages that she would be home for Christmas, but it never happened.

“Nazanin spent Christmas Day in jail cooking Christmas pudding for her cellmates and I was with my parents, feeling very down. I was not in the mood to celebrate.

THe couple’s daughter Gabriella who lives with her grandparents in Tehran was unable to visit her mother on Christmas Day.

Nazanin even spent her birthday on Boxing Day alone and was not allowed a cake that her family had bought. Gabriella had to blow out candles for her mother alone.

Richard said: “She was very very down. What she is going through amounts to psychological torture and I am calling on the special rapporteur to intervene before she is pushed too far and does something drastic to get out of her situation.”

He is concerned that when she is at her lowest, she might take her own life.

“To raise her hopes and then do nothing is inhumane.

As reported in the Ham&High, Nazanin was seized at Tehran Airport with daughter Gabriella on April 3 as they tried to return home from a family holiday to visit her parents. Gabriella is living with her grandparents while Nazanin has been sentenced to five years in jail for charges of plotting against the state, which she denies.

Since her arrest 22 months ago, Richard says Nazanin has spent eight and a half months in solitary confinement. “She was in a mess when she came out of solitary. This treatment amounts to torture.

The special rapporteur was appointed by the United Nationals human rights council to examine questions relevant to torture. It covers all countries, irrespective of whether a State has signed up or not.

Its mandate includes:

*Transmitting urgent appeals to countries with regard to individuals reported to be at risk of torture,

* Undertaking fact-finding country visits; and

* Submitting annual reports too the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly.


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

Fri, 12:50

A Hampstead school table tennis team is going for glory after getting through to the finals of the table tennis national school team championships.

Fri, 11:14

Melange, with locations in Barnet and Crouch End, has opened a third in Belsize Park. Here co-owner Justina Markauskaite talks about removing the borders between cuisines and why they put family at the centre of everything they do

Fri, 10:15

The Friends of West Hampstead Library got a welcome anniversary gift when the councillor responsible for libraries told them further library closures would happen “over his dead body.”

Fri, 08:58

A six-year-old girl from West Hampstead has started her own campaign to cut down on plastic waste.

Thu, 18:18

Three schoolboys were robbed by two men with a knife in Swiss Cottage on Tuesday in the latest in a spate of muggings of young victims.

Thu, 15:10

A politician being chased out of Sicily by the mafia isn’t unheard of. However there’s not many politicians in Camden who have shared new Conservative leader Gio Spinella’s experience in Palermo.

Thu, 13:12

An 18-year-old man has been stabbed in an attack in West Hampstead.

Thu, 11:30

New housing benefit applicants in Camden are having to wait more than a month for their claims to be processed. This could lead to eviction and possible homelessness according to a leading housing charity.


Melange, with locations in Barnet and Crouch End, has opened a third in Belsize Park. Here co-owner Justina Markauskaite talks about removing the borders between cuisines and why they put family at the centre of everything they do

Less is More, a group exhibition at the Daniel Raphael Gallery will feature emerging artists from England, Italy, France and the Czech Republic, from January 24 to February 16.

For people who suffer with feet problems, it is often difficult to find footwear that is both comfortable and stylish. There is a shop in the West End dedicated to changing that.

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

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now