Call for action at Mother’s Day protest for jailed West Hampstead mum Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe
- Credit: Archant
Campaigners to free Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe laid 707 pebbles outside the Foreign Office in a protest to mark the second Mother’s Day the mum-of-one has spent in jail in Iran.
The painted stones represented each of the 707 days she has been held and to remind foreign secretary Boris Johnson of a pledge he made to “leave no stone unturned” to bring Nazanin home.
Nazanin, of Fortune Green Road, is serving a five-year-sentence imposed by the Iranian Revolutionary Court for spying charges after she was arrested with daughter Gabriella, now three, at Terhan airport as they returned from a holiday.
She strongly denies the charges and says she was in Iran to introduce her young daughter Gabriella to her parents.
Husband Richard, who has campaigned tirelessly for her release, said: “I don’t think we’d ever thought it would last this long.
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“Each landmark that comes is just a reminder that she’s still away.
“You strip it all back, the thing she’s most upset about is that she’s been away from Gabriella and not watched her grow up.”
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Groups of children joined the protest with youngster Iman Abdirsak, from Haverstock School, reading a moving poem.
She told the crowd: “A mother is automatically drawn to their child. A spiritual connection, beyond comprehension that links the two together with love so potent and so strong that if you were to separate the two it would cause the earth to shake.”
Director Emi Howell, who has written a play about Nazanin’s plight which will be performed at JW3 in Hampstead on March 17, called on Boris Johnson to do more to free Nazanin.
She said: “He did so much before Christmas and something was happening and we got really excited but it all came to nothing. My message to him would be please do something, start again, try a different way to bring her home.”
Nazanin’s sister-in-law Rebecca Ratcliffe spoke of her sadness that Nazanin is spending another Mother’s Day behind bars. “This weekend is all about being a mother, isnt it? “And ever since I have had children its always been a very special day for me so poor Nazanin, this is her second Mother’s Day she is missing out on.”
Husband Richard said: “Part of the aspiration of today’s message to the foreign secretary Boris Johnson is I would like to meet to ask what’s the blockage? What’s going on?”
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “We will continue to approach each case in a way that we judge is most likely to secure the outcome we all want.Therefore we will not be providing a running commentary on every twist and turn.”
The Ham&High will host a special performance of Emi Howell’s play Looking for Mummy - Nazanin’s story at JW3, Finchley Road at 8:30pm on March 17. Get tickets here.