In April of 2016, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was on holiday in Iran with her toddler when she was detained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. She was forcefully separated from her 22 month old daughter.
Nazanin is a charity worker who has dual citizenship in Great Britain and Iran. Her home and husband are in Britain; she was visiting family when she was arrested. Her daughter has sole British citizenship.
Nazanin has been charged with plotting to overthrow Iran’s regime and could face up to 16 additional years in prison.
Nazanin spent more than 8 months in solitary confinement.
Nazanin’s daughter is currently 5 years old. Nazanin recently wrote an open letter describing her anguish over missing out on so much of her daughter’s life. She is allowed to have visitation with her daughter every Sunday and relives that initial forced separation on a weekly basis as she must again and again say goodbye to her daughter.
In November 2017, Boris Johnson (who was British foreign secretary at the time) incorrectly told members of Parliament that Nazanin was in Iran teaching journalists. Later, he retracted his comments. Boris Johnson’s words were cited in an Iranian court just days later.
Johnson claimed months later that his mistake did not "make any difference" to Nazanin’s plight.
Boris Johnson is now the British Prime Minister. Not only has he done nothing to assist in securing Nazanin’s freedom, he has worsened her situation with his haphazard language about an incredibly serious situation. One of his citizens is being wrongfully detained and another is being deprived of a relationship with her mother.
Boris Johnson has an obligation to repair the damages he has done and act immediately to secure Nazanin’s freedom.
No one can return to Nazanin the precious time she lost with Gabriella. She cannot get those years back. This family is not a political pawn for Iran; we must not stand for them being used as such.