Thank you to everyone who has contacted me regarding Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. I have received a lot of emails about Nazanin’s case in recent days and know many of my constituents care deeply about her family’s plight.
As you will no doubt be aware, Nazanin has now been separated from her husband and daughter for well over 5 years. She has spent some of that time in an Iranian jail, subjected to torture and denied medical treatment. More recently she has been under house arrest in Tehran.
Nazanin’s husband Richard Ratcliffe first went on hunger strike two years ago outside the Iranian Embassy in solidarity with his wife who was doing the same in Evin Prison in Iran. As you will know, he has just finished another 21-day hunger strike on the doorstep of the Foreign Secretary in Whitehall, pleading with her and the Prime Minister to do more to challenge Iran’s hostage taking and to bring Nazanin home to be reunited with Richard and their daughter.
I visited Richard two years ago and again last week to offer my continued support for his family’s cause. Going on hunger strike is clearly the absolute last resort, and Richard has stated he feels no other options remain because the Government’s response to his wife’s cause has been pitiful.
Yesterday my colleague Tulip Siddiq, who is the family’s MP, held a Westminster Hall debate on Nazanin’s case. I had hoped to attend, but unfortunately was held up at another important debate on parliamentary standards in the Commons chamber. I know from colleagues that it was standing room only at Tulip’s debate and many MPs made heart-felt speeches. If you would like to read them, they are available here.
I know that Tulip will continue to act as a fierce advocate for Nazanin and her family and I will do everything I can to support her.