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The treatment of Nazanin and RIchard is a disgrace to Iran’s history

4 122 0
21.06.2019

And so I return without apology to a subject that I have covered in this column before: the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian woman who was seized in 2016 by the Iranian authorities in Tehran, and is currently on a hunger-strike – her third – in an Iranian jail. For the past week, her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, has mirrored her protest from a plastic chair on the pavement outside the Iranian Embassy in London.

Those who have followed the story of Nazanin and Richard will know of the astonishing cruelty that has been meted out to this family. Their baby daughter, Gabriella, had travelled with her mother to Iran; since Nazanin’s arrest, Gabriella has been in the care of her maternal grandparents in Iran. Initially she was unable to be brought back to the UK as her passport had been confiscated. It has since been returned, but the agonising prospect of bringing an end to her brief visits with her mother in prison has presented an impossible dilemma to Nazanin and Richard, and so Gabriella remains in Iran, no longer able to speak any English in video calls to her father.

This latest hunger strike comes on the back of two developments: the passing of Gabriella’s fifth birthday, and the threat of a second trial. This time, Richard has joined her in hunger-striking, not in abstract solidarity but to provide a visible face for the protest in a way that Nazanin simply can’t. To many, Nazanin is a headline or a distant thought, but here is an English accountant sitting on a rainy pavement, in hunger and in........

© Independent