Wednesday 26 June 2019

For Nazanin And Her Family

This is the Ratcliffe family, Richard, Nazanin, and Gabriella- a picture taken in happier times.
Gabriella is now 5, her Mum is in an Iranian prison [where she has been for 3 years] and her Dad is on hunger strike outside the Iranian Embassy.
If you don't know the story [and I appreciate many of you do not live in the UK, so may not have picked this up] it is this...
Nazanin has dual Iranian/British nationality. She has family in Iran. She works for Reuters News Agency, and in particular for the Thomson-Reuters Foundation - the charitable wing of the company. She was in Iran for TRF, and visiting her family when she was arrested for alleged espionage.
Unfortunately, the then Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, made some very ill judged, totally inaccurate, remarks- which totally contradicted the words of her defence lawyer. And now Nazanin is facing 5 years imprisonment.
Iran's relationship with the west is not good right now - and the Ratcliffes are concerned things may worsen. Nazinin began a hunger strike 11 days ago - Richard her husband is camped outside the Iranian Embassy supporting her in this. 
I was contacted last week by as I had earlier signed the 'Free Nazanin' petition. They said that many people were visiting Richard to show their support, including children, pensioners, and Iranians. But there had been very few MPs showing up, even though it is very close to the Palace of Westminster.  Change asked us to write to our MPs and politely request they went and showed support for this woman and her family.
I tried to imagine how I would feel if Liz were in prison, and Jon went on hunger strike [and Rosie had to be looked after by somebody else] And so I contacted my MP on 19th June. I had a reply yesterday, 25th June.
Well, I sincerely hope "Current Foreign Secretary and Leadership Aspirant, Jeremy Hunt" makes a better job of things than "Former Foreign Secretary and Leadership Aspirant Boris Johnson"
And I notice Mr Chope doesn't even mention my request about making a visit to the Embassy Encampment himself. He's probably too busy planning his next opposition to a Private Member's Bill. Every communication I have had with my MP since I got to Dorset results in a letter which says "Thank you for your letter - that's somebody else's job, not mine". 
I am desperately concerned for this woman and her loved ones. 
Is it time for me to take up the mantle of such noble women as Norfolk- born Elizabeth Fry  and Victorian Philanthropist Angela Burdett-Coutts, and work for the better treatment of women prisoners? 

If you feel able, please sign the petition
If you're in the UK, maybe contact your MP
If you pray, then please pray for the Ratcliffe family.
Thank you
UPDATE - THE CORRECT LINK IS HERE [thank you FC for spotting my error]


  1. I've now signed!
    By the way your link takes only to will take to the right petition. (Delete my comment if you'd prefer.)

  2. I really dislike the replies I receive from my local MP. My one us Mark Francois who was on TV making stupid remarks that were very strongly anti-German against the aviation authority-he's pro-Brexit and a complete fool from what I can see. I will make sure I do this when I get home!

  3. This troubles me greatly. It does not seem as though anyone in UK, ie MPs etc , are doing much to help the situation. I'm sure if she was the wife of a politician she would have been home long ago.

  4. I feel so sorry for the little girl. She's probably wondering where her parents are and what is happening. :(

  5. Well I am not surprised by The Chope reply, the sooner he looses his seat the better although I fear it would be another fst Tory which we have in Nirth Dorset. This woman’s story should be kept as high profile as possible, I hope it haunts BJ for the rest of his life.

  6. I read a lot of the UK papers online so I do know of this case - very sad for the whole family caught up in this nonsense.
    I did go to the website but I think they may be country specific as all the current petitions seem to apply to Canada.
    Isn't it maddening when you get those form letters - it feels as though it's just a pat on the head with a "there, there, don't worry your little head about it" - I wish you well in your efforts.

  7. I signed this petition a while ago as I am signed up to The MP's are all far too busy at the moment with such important things like saving the conservative party. I have come to the conclusion you cannot expect too much of them these days!


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