Amnesty International hold moving vigil for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe held in Iran
PUBLISHED: 11:02 17 January 2017 | UPDATED: 11:10 17 January 2017
The charity gathered in front of the Iranian Embassy as husband Richard delivered a letter calling for justice and a better future for his child
Amnesty International held a small candlelit vigil in front of the Iranian Embassy yesterday evening for West Hampstead mum Nazanin, marking 288 days since she was detained.
Nazanin, 38, is serving a five-year jail sentence in Tehran’s Evin Prison after being convicted last year in a secretive trial by a Revolutionary Court on unspecified “national security charges”.
Husband, Richard Ratcliffe, an accountant, is still desperately waiting on the verdict of her appeal, which was held in a closed court on January 4 and which Nazanin has been forbidden from discussing with her family.
He delivered a letter to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, asking him to ensure Nazanin has a fair appeal.
Richard called for better relations between Iran and the UK, “grounded in mutual understanding”, for the sake of his daughter, Gabriella’s, future.
The charity also attempted to deliver some of the cards and letters sent to Nazanin in Evin prison from Amnesty supporters which were returned unopened by the prison authorities.
Monday’s vigil marked one year since the Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian and other US-Iranian dual-nationals were released from prison in Iran.
Last year the Canadian-Iranian academic Homa Hoodfar was also released from jail in Iran, reportedly after the Canadian government were “engaged at the highest levels” on her case.
Nazanin worked as an international media charity worker with the Thomson Reuters foundation before she was arrested at Tehran’s airport on April 3.
Her two-year-old daughter, Gabriella, had her passport confiscated and she has stayed with her Iranian grandparents ever since, sometimes being allowed to visit her mum.
In his letter to the President Rouhani, Richard wrote: “No one wants an Iran becoming more dangerous to travel to, where people are able to invent stories to frame people...
“Particularly as the world risks becoming more volatile.
“Notwithstanding my public criticism of the injustices visited on my family by Iranian authorities, my view is that Iran and the UK need to build better relations, grounded in mutual understanding, for Gabriella’s future.
“Arbitrarily holding Nazanin, denying Gabriella regular access to both her parents does not serve this.
“I ask for your help in bringing Nazanin and Gabriella home because framing the innocent serves no one.”