Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Thank you for contacting me about the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. She has now been imprisoned for over 1000 days - more than half of her four year old daughter's life. This is monstrous and completely unjust. It goes without saying that we all want Nazanin home as soon as possible. 

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office works tirelessly for all our dual nationals detained in Iran and is doing everything it can in each of their cases, including trying to secure access to them and ensure their welfare. This is particularly challenging because the Iranian Government does not recognise dual nationality and therefore does not accept the UK Government's request for consular access. 
I know that the Government has regularly raised Nazanin's case at the highest levels within the Iranian Government. Indeed, the Prime Minister herself raised her concerns over the case with President Rouhani of Iran at the fringes of the UN Security Council meeting at the end of September. 

The Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, also raised this and other consular cases with his Iranian counterpart then, and more recently when he visited Iran in November with the clear message that that putting innocent people in prison cannot and must not be used as a tool of diplomatic leverage. Jeremy Hunt also took time to meet Gabriella, Nazanin's daughter while he was in Iran, and I understand the family were very touched by his visit. 

Iran is a country that wants to be respected by other countries and imprisoning an innocent woman like this is this is not the way to do it. 

According to Richard Ratcliffe prison officials have refused to allow Nazanin certain medical examinations and treatments, which is extremely concerning. As you know, Nazanin has announced via a letter published by Defenders of Human Rights Centre in Tehran that she will begin a three-day hunger strike on 14 January. I continue to be extremely concerned about her welfare, and I know that the UK urgently raises welfare concerns as soon as it is aware of them. It is horrendous that an innocent mother feels she has to resort to this simply for justice and access to medical care.

As Jeremy Hunt has made clear, for the sake of common humanity, it is time to let Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe come home. I know that is what the UK Government is focused on achieving. 

 

Please find the link to the Urgent Question which was asked on 7th January 2019 below: 

https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2019-01-07/debates/FB800F1C-B706-…

 

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.