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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s family welcome commitment in Labour manifesto to fight for justice in her case

PUBLISHED: 15:32 22 November 2019

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with a young Gabriella before Nazanin was arrested in April 2016. Picture: Free Nazanin

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with a young Gabriella before Nazanin was arrested in April 2016. Picture: Free Nazanin

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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s family have welcomed the Labour Party’s manifesto commitment to fight for justice her and others detained in similar circumstances abroad.

Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq. Picture: Chris McAndrew/Creative CommonsHampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq. Picture: Chris McAndrew/Creative Commons

The West Hampstead woman, who has been detained in Iran since April 2016, was mentioned by name in the Jeremy Corbyn-led party's manifesto for the coming general election.

The Liberal Democrats also mention Nazanin by name, but do not make any specific commitment with regard to British citizens and dual nationals detained abroad, while she is not mentioned by the Greens. The Conservatives are to release their manifesto this Sunday.

Nazanin's husband Richard, who was re-united with daughter Gabriella in October, told this newspaper: "We were very pleased to get in the Labour manifesto, particularly the commitment for prisoners overseas, and are looking to see if anything makes the Conservatives' next week."

Tulip Siddiq, who was the Hampstead and Kilburn MP until parliament was dissolved, also said she was pleased to see the line in her party's manifesto. She tweeted that she was "beyond delighted" to see Nazanin's name and the pledge.

Richard Ratcliffe outside of the Iranian Embassy at the end of day four of his and Nazanin's hunger strike. Picture: Sam VolpeRichard Ratcliffe outside of the Iranian Embassy at the end of day four of his and Nazanin's hunger strike. Picture: Sam Volpe

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The wording sees the party promise to stand up for "the rights of our citizens and dual-nationals abroad" and "continue fighting for justice on behalf of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and other British national wrongly imprisoned or suffering mistreatment in captivity abroad".

The Lib Dems used Nazanin's case an example of why the party believes Boris Johnson "cannot be trusted to protect British citizens".

In the last few weeks Iran has seen an increase in political protests sparked by an increase in petrol prices and these have been met by force - Amnesty International believes at least 100 demonstrators may have been killed.

Richard Ratcliffe said that while Nazanin had not been directly affected, it may "slow down a resolution for a while".

He told this newspaper he feared this could mean "Nazanin might be moved to take action again". He said he thought his would likely not be before Christmas and added; "I told the government that I thought their opportunity was to get it done soon and time was running out."

He explained he had written to the Prime Minister making this point and reminding him of his promise made while foreign secretary to "leave no stone unturned" in the fight for Nazanin's freedom.


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