Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe jailed in Iran faces a ban on seeing her toddler
PUBLISHED: 15:21 19 December 2016 | UPDATED: 09:34 21 December 2016
A West Hampstead mum is being forced to choose between moving her daughter into jail with her or signing away her right to see her child
Nazanin has been given an impossible choice between looking after her two-year-old daughter in prison for up to three days a week, or signing a document relinquishing the right to see her.
Husband Richard Ratcliffe, a West Hampstead accountant, said Iranian Revolutionary Guard officials have put pressure on Nazanin, an Anglo-Iranian who worked as a media charity worker at Thomson Reuters.
After he spoke with the Ham&High and the national media about Nazanin’s deteriorating mental and physical condition, her guards in jail have given her an ultimatum.
She must either allow her daughter, Gabriella, to stay with her in prison up to three days a week, or Nazanin should sign a disclaimer waiving her right to see her daughter.
If Nazanin agrees that her daughter can stay, she will move rooms, but there are no suitable facilities for children inside Evin Prison in Tehran.
Richard has written about the terrible choice on his Change.org blog, which has almost 850,000 signatures and calls on Prime Minister Theresa May to act.
He said: “It is some choice – would you want your baby in prison?
“I asked her not to sign anything, but check if a day visit or two half days were possible?
“She is unsure she has the strength to look after a toddler full-time.
“But spending time together would help rebuild them both, now and for after.
“It would help Nazanin climb up the spout again.
“It would help her hang on for the sun – like your letters while she is inside prison, a reminder right now that prison is not inside her.”
Richard said Nazanin needs to be allowed more regular visits from her daughter – either a day-long visit or two half-day visits each week.
She is currently allowed to have only one hour-long visit per week with Gabriella, who is living with her grandparents.
As previously reported, Nazanin and Gabriella were seized at Tehran airport on April 3 as they returned from a family holiday.
Nazanin was thrown in jail and Gabriella’s passport was seized.
Nazanin was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment in September following a trial before a Revolutionary Court in Tehran, but the precise charges remain unknown.
Richard said articles available on Iranian state-run news outlets say her conviction stems from her professional charity media work.
Hampstead parents will be singing carols in front of No.10 Downing Street at 6pm this evening to call on the British government to do more to free Nazanin. All are welcome. For more information about the carols, contact Caroline Berger on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit this Facebook page.