Shadow foreign office minister Catherine West slams government inaction over mum Nazanin jailed in Iran
PUBLISHED: 07:00 01 May 2017
Shadow foreign minister Catherine West has slammed the government for “dragging its feet” over securing the release of West Hampstead mum Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe from an Iranian jail cell.
Ms West, who is standing for re-election as the Labour MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, said: “Time and again Nazanin’s case has been raised in the House of Commons.
“It is simply unacceptable that the government continues to drag its feet over the secretive charges brought against Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe.
As reported in the Ham&High, Nazanin, who was arrested at Tehran airport as she tried to return from a family holiday with Gabriella, two, was given a five-year jail sentence on secret charges. Gabriella, whose passport was seized, is stuck in Iran being looked after by her grandparents.
Last week, her husband Richard Ratcliffe, of Fortune Green Road, called on the government to publicly deny that she is a spy and proclaim her innocence, after the Supreme Court rejected an appeal against her five-year sentence.
Ms West backed his calls. She said: “The foreign office may say that is is concerned, but it has been over a year and it is clear that Nazanin has been left deserted, with the government not strongly enough standing up and stating her innocence or having called for her release.”
Her Labour colleague Tulip Siddiq, MP for Nazanin’s constituency Hampstead and Kilburn, met with Tobias Ellwood, Foreign Office minister for the Middle East last week.
She said: “I was clear in my view that Nazanin cannot be abandoned and left to serve the rest of her sentence, which is based on secretive charges.
“I am now actively considering bringing a Bill to Parliament that would enshrine in British law the rights of dual nationals who are detained abroad.”
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