Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

UK Dual National’s Family Marks 2,000 Days Since her Detention in Iran

UK Dual National’s Family Marks 2,000 Days Since her Detention in Iran

Friday, 24 September, 2021 - 05:45
Richard Ratcliffe, the husband of imprisoned British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and their seven-year-old daughter Gabriella pose for the media backdropped by the scaffolded Houses of Parliament and the Elizabeth Tower, known as Big Ben, in Parliament Square, London, to mark the 2,000 days she has been detained in Iran, Thursday, September 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

The husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has called on the UK government to be brave and take a tougher stance against Iran as he marked 2,000 days since her detention in Tehran.

Richard Ratcliffe and the couple’s daughter Gabriella set up a giant snakes and ladders board in Parliament Square on Thursday to symbolize the feeling of being caught between two governments.

"It's a tough landmark, but it's also a point when you feel not forgotten," Ratcliffe told AFP of the day's events.

“It’s 2,000 days of ups and downs and twists and turns and false dawns, and snakes and ladders seemed to encapsulate that because we’re in the middle of a game between two governments, we’re just a bargaining chip in it,” he added.

More than 175 MPs have signed a letter urging the government to resolve a row with Iran over a £400 million debt linked to a seventies arms deal.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss met with Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian at the UN General Assembly on Thursday.

The foreign minister said she would be "hard-headed" and "proactive" in her approach to securing the release of detained British-Iranians.

When asked what she would say to the Iranians, she said she would be pushing for Zaghari-Ratcliffe's "immediate release".

While in the Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg said the government would push the “rogue regime” of Iran “as far as we can” for her release.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe was sentenced to five years in jail after being convicted of plotting to overthrow Iran’s government, a charge that she, her supporters, and rights groups vigorously deny.

She was taken into custody at the airport after visiting her family in 2016 in Tehran. At the time, she was working for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of the news agency.

In May, Zaghari-Ratcliffe was sentenced to an additional year in prison.

Editor Picks