Petition update

Anniversary Calm and Storm

Richard Ratcliffe
London, United Kingdom

Aug 11, 2016 — It has been a rough time recently. There has been a lot to keep up with, emotionally as much as anything – here and there – by now much to update you.

We’ve had some sudden setbacks – with the announcement that Nazanin will now be taken to trial. And also some hope and thanks – to the Prime Minister for personally raising Nazanin’s case, and linking it to future relations. There are also things I have promised to say. Lots which must wait for a proper update.

For now – I need to make another request of you.

This weekend is Nazanin’s and my wedding anniversary, our 7th wedding anniversary, the woollen one. To my shame, I did not manage to make such an effort for our anniversary last year – I was away with work on audit, and a romantic celebration was replaced by a belated family trip to the beach.

So this year, amongst all the politics, it feels like a time for cherishing the beautiful person I married behind all these images. I don’t always remember to say it clearly in my campaigning. But I am proud of Nazanin.

I am proud that she is so creative and caring and kind. I am proud that seven years ago she agreed to be my wife, and to build a home together. I am proud and lucky that she has given us such a cheeky spirit in Gabriella, and that she has cherished her and me so keenly. Even now Nazanin keeps pressing her family to do different things to check I’m ok.

When we said for better of for worse, we never thought it would take us to this place. I write it here – since I cannot say it to her there - that even now I am glad of being with her every day. I know she sits now in prison worrying over what has happened to her family and work, made to feel guilty that she has brought trouble on them, encouraged to fear for what the future might hold.

But the better will come again. Once she returns of course our relationship will need renewing, for our worlds apart these past months, as well as the deeper, darker cruelties to lay to rest. By then she will be able to read these words - we will survive.

For now though there are two things:

First, we are doing an anniversary event for friends and family this Sunday – tying woollen memory knots, as a calm reminder that she and Gabriella are not forgotten, to Nazanin’s her favourite bridge in London. We will post pictures of our woollen knots on our Facebook page and instagram. This weekend you might be willing to tie your own knots of wool, somewhere closer to your own home, and post your own picture.

Second, the main purpose of this message is to announce something new for our family this weekend – to ask you be involved in a Twitter Storm.

The request is to ask you to join us in a Twitter Storm tomorrow, Friday August 12th, 2016 (6PM UK, 1PM US East Coast, 9:30PM Iran). These past months have taught me the power of social media – to push for change. The aim of the twitter storm is simple, get our story trending globally and secure more signatures and support for our petition.

In preparation, we have created a new hashtag which will be released via social media (@FreeNazanin on Twitter) at 6PM UK time on Friday August 12th.

We have also created some sample tweets for you to use, as well as some photos to help make your tweets more visually engaging. These will also be provided at the storm start time - keep an eye on the Free Nazanin social media accounts for further information.

From there on is where we need YOUR help please. Once we start, we need you to get busy on Twitter and Facebook using the new hashtag.

Use the sample tweets or use your own - but please be sure to include the new hashtag and a reference to our petition at

These past months have reminded me - we survive thanks to the love around us. In the end that is what will bring Nazanin and Gabriella home. With your help, we will not leave them trapped.

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