In pictures: Friends hang yellow ribbons for Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe’s anniversary in jail
- Credit: Nigel Sutton
Husband Richard Ratcliffe read out Nazanin’s wish for a day of freedom: ‘How I wish I could watch you both dance – like when Gabriella was only tiny’, she said.
Friends, family and supporters gathered in the sunlight in Fortune Green Park in West Hampstead, a stone’s throw away from where Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe once lived with her daughter Gabriella and husband Richard.
Richard read out Nazanin’s wishes for how she would spend a day of freedom, to mark one year since she was first arrested by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards at Tehran airport, while taking Gabriella, now two, home from a family holiday.
Nazanin wrote to Richard: “My fondest dream has always been to arrive at our home, you ask me if I want to have a cup of tea, then make me one. I just sit back and watch you two play.
“This is the image I had most when in solitary confinement.”
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She added: “How I wish I could watch you both dance in the middle of our sitting room to the Michael Jackson music – like when Gabriella was only tiny. I would like to put a huge paper on the wall in our sitting room and draw a world in which there are no prisons, walls or fences. And let Gabriella do the colouring.”
In a very moving event, neighbours and well-wishers wrote down what they would do with one day of freedom on coloured tags and hung them on bright yellow ribbons on the tree in Fortune Green.
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Richard and Nazanin’s family and young cousins had travelled from all over the country to support the campaign, planting flowers with the friends of Fortune Green, and picnicking in the park afterwards.
Richard’s mother, Barbara Ratcliffe, wore specially-dyed clothes of yellow and blue to mark the Spring event.
The anniversary of Nazanin’s imprisonment coincides with Nowruz, the Iranian new year, when she was visiting her parents in Iran.
Richard told the Ham&High that his daughter Gabriella has been at the park in Iran today.
She has been visited by a child psychologist, who said that while she is a normal two-year-old, she could spend more time with children her own age, rather than just her grandparents.
Richard said: “She’s quite wary of abandonment. If she’s told off by her granny she gets very upset.”
Her grandparents sometimes find her awake in the middle of the night, peering into their room to check on them.
As previously reported in the Ham&High, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, an Anglo-Iranian who worked as a media charity worker with Thomson Reuters, was arrested on April 3. Her appeal against her five year sentence was rejected in January.
All supporters of Nazanin are invited to send in photographs of their ribbons and post them on the Free Nazanin Facebook page.
The family will then collect the ideas and pictures into a book to inspire Nazanin, and the other prisoners, when they are released.