Free Nazanin: Richard and Gabriella to protest outside of Iran's embassy
- Credit: Archant
Richard Ratcliffe is protesting outside the Iranian embassy after his wife Nazanin was yesterday told she faced a new court appearance in Iran.
The detained West Hampstead mum finished her five-year sentence in Iran on Sunday - but although the ankle tag which enforced her house arrest has been removed, she is still not able to come home.
Richard plans to demonstrate, with the couple’s daughter Gabriella and his wife’s brother Mohamed, outside the Iranian embassy in Knightsbridge from around midday on Monday.
He will deliver a 60,000-signature Amnesty International petition to the embassy calling for his wife’s immediate release.
Mr Ratcliffe called it a “watershed” moment, saying: “If you’d asked me when we first started campaigning with Amnesty to bring Nazanin home that five years later we’d still be knocking on the door of the Iranian embassy, still waiting for them to ever open it and explain what’s going on, then I would have been horrified.”
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He earlier said he was “grateful” for the “strong words” of Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who condemned the “cruel and intolerable” treatment of Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe and called for her swift return to the UK.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged Iran to release her “permanently”, adding her “continued confinement remains totally unacceptable”.
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This morning former Foreign Office permanent secretary Lord McDonald told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We’re in the endgame, the Iranian system is behaving in a typical way, Nazanin has completed her sentence, something good yesterday happened with the removal of the ankle tag but the final moves have still to take place – this case has not yet ended.”
Richard added: “I spoke last week to the Foreign Secretary who said, ‘Listen, I can’t promise you it’s going to be this weekend but it feels like we’re close’.
“I’ve spoken to other former hostages and they say yes at the end it gets quite bumpy and this to them feels like the endgame. So fingers crossed it is but also we might have many more months to go.”
Lord McDonald added: “I hope she is (coming home soon) and yesterday was a very good day but as Richard has explained this is not over until Nazanin is back in the UK.”