Husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe held in Iran calls on Hampstead community to ‘keep her name alive’

The couple with their newborn baby Gabriella in West Hampstead

The couple with their newborn baby Gabriella in West Hampstead - Credit: Archant

The husband of West Hampstead mum Nazanin said there will be more campaigns after she lost her appeal, even if they provoke cruelty from her jail guards

Richard Ratcliffe has called on supporters to “keep her name alive” after Nazanin lost her appeal against her five-year jail sentence in an Iranian prison.

Accountant Richard, of Fortune Green Road, who fears for Nazanin’s health, said the appeal result is a huge blow to his family and prison guards have acted with cruelty towards his wife.

He said he will not give up and will launch new campaigns to free Nazanin - in spite of the risk of provoking the Iranian authorities - after Nazanin lost her final appeal against her five-year sentence on Sunday.

In the most recent example of cruelty towards Nazanin, her Iranian Revolutionary Guard jailers have forbidden her from giving her two-year-old daughter Gabriella a cardigan she painstakingly knitted for her in jail.

Foreign Office minister for the Middle East Tobias Ellwood visited Nazanin’s father in Tehran earlier this month, and Richard believes that Nazanin’s jailers responded by taking away some of her small privileges.

He told the Ham&High: “Nazanin made some kind of wood carving and she was also able to knit Gabriella a cardigan.

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“She was so proud of it, and the rules are that if you make it for your family you are able to give it to your family, so she went and took it to give to Gabriella and they wouldn’t let her give it to her.

“And they wouldn’t let [the family] give chocolates to Nazanin, little gifts, and I think that was because last week, the minister went to Iran and met with Nazanin’s father.”

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 38, who has dual Iranian and British nationality, was arrested with her daughter Gabriella at Tehran airport, as they returned home from a holiday.

Gabriella’s passport was confiscated and she is still living with her grandparents in Iran.

Richard said he was taking some time to think after the devastating news that Nazanin’s appeal against her five-year jail sentence was rejected, but that he intends to “escalate” his campaigns.

He said: “There’s a sense of what we’ve done hasn’t worked, we need to step it up another level, but obviously the more you step it up, the riskier it is. Rather than jump into things as an angry husband, it’s worth taking a few days to reflect...It’s about keeping her name alive.”