Actress Emma Thompson to lead mothers' march for jailed Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe
PUBLISHED: 06:00 20 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:58 20 November 2017
West Hampstead actress Emma Thompson has joined the campaign calling for the release of West Hampstead mum Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe who will have spent 600 days in jail on Thursday
On Saturday, the Oscar winner will join a march of families in West Hampstead and has added her name to the mothers’ letter to be sent to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, urging him to free her so she can be reunited with her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, and their daughter, Gabriella, now three.
The letter and march has been organised by the Pramstead Facebook group for North London parents and has been supported by the Ham&High, which called in last week’s editorial for parents to support the letter which has now reached 2,900 signatures.
As reported in the Ham&High, Nazanin was on holiday with daughter Gabriella, one, in Tehran, visiting family, on April 3 2016 when she was seized and falsely accused of plotting to topple the state.
After being kept in solitary confinement Nazanin was transferred to Tehran’s notorious Evin prison where she is serving a five-year sentence.
Last December the Ham&High led a march of thousands to Downing Street and the Foreign Office along with Nazanin’s husband Richard and members of his family calling for her release.
Now almost a year later, the second march will take place on Saturday November 25 at 10:30am on West End Green, near the Emmanuel Church.
Pramstead posted on its website: “We invite parents, children, friends and family of the #FreeNazanin campaign to join us on Saturday 25th November at 10.30am on West End Green, near the Emmanuel Church in West Hampstead.
“We will be joined by Emma Thompson who, moved by Nazanin’s plight, will lend her voice to the campaign.
From West End Green, the march will go to the Islamic Centre of England to present the Mothers’ Open letter to His Excellency, Sayyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei asking for Nazanin’s release.
This comes as Nazanin’s husband Richard, who has been campaigning tirelessly for her release, was finally granted a meeting with foreign secretary Boris Johnson on Wednesday during which he urged the Government to escalate efforts to get his wife released fas the “softly-softly” approach was not working.
He revealed that Nazanin was on the verge of a nervous breakdown as her mental and physical health deteriorates and had recently had a cancer scare after finding lumps on her breasts.
Nazanin’s mental state has suffered since a gaffe by Mr Johnson about her activities in Iran led to the threat of further charges.
The foreign secretary has apologised for the “distress” and “suffering” he caused by his suggestion that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was training journalists in Iran, which has exposed her to the threat of her five-year jail sentence being doubled.
To sign the mother’s open letter and join the march click here.