Naz Don't Cry: The Christians release Christmas single for Nazanin

 Richard and Gabriella Ratcliffe, recording a song with the Christians in support of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Richard and Gabriella Ratcliffe, recording a song with the Christians in support of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe - Credit: Darius Bazargan

Eighties pop stars The Christians have reworked their song Man Don't Cry to raise money and awareness for the Free Nazanin Campaign.

West Hampstead campaigner Richard Ratcliffe joined the recording session for Naz Don't Cry, with seven-year-old daughter Gabriella taking a turn on drums.

It was footage of Richard on hunger strike for his wife Nazanin's release that urged lead singer Garry Christian to release the song in time for Christmas. The charity worker was detained in 2016 on false charges of planning to overthrow the Iranian government and is currently at her parent's under house arrest.

"We saw Richard doing the hunger strike. It's inspiring how he just never gives up and ridiculous that this is Nazanin's sixth Christmas without her daughter," he said.

"Back in 91 we did an album and one of the songs was about John McCarthy who was held hostage in Lebanon. People said I should re-release it  – it's a beautiful song and the sentiments are just the same. We don't know if it will make a difference but we thought let's try and at least do something. Hopefully we will raise awareness and if people buy it, donate to Redress, a charity helping people who are tortured and imprisoned."

During the recording session in Liverpool he said Gabriella was "brilliant on drums".

"We had a lovely day in the studio. She's really lovely. Hyper intelligent, with an amazing rhythm."

The Christians

The Christians originally released the song in 1991 to raise awareness for Jill Morell's campaign to release hostage John McCarthy. The Lyrics have been reworked to campaign for West Hampstead Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. - Credit: Courtesy of The Christians

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Richard said they called Nazanin from the studio so she could say hello to the band: "It's a beautiful song, but when we were re-recording bits the band were trying to teach me the tune, and getting gently more exasperated when I couldn't hit the right note.

"Gabriella had a lovely time playing the drums and it's fair to say my daughter has a better voice than her father so I'm not sure how much of my tuneless crooning made the final cut."

He added: "It was a nice thing that came out of the hunger strike. It's very Christmassy, and the money will go to Redress."

Naz Don't Cry is out on December 15.

Richard Ratcliffe, the husband of Iranian detainee Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, with his daughter Gabriella

Richard Ratcliffe, the husband of Iranian detainee Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, with his daughter Gabriella, ending his hunger strike - Credit: PA/Aaron Chown