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Chamberlain supports husband's protest to secure release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

October 27, 2021 1:14 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

North East Fife's MP met with Richard Ratcliffe, husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, outside the Foreign Office this morning. Mr Ratcliffe is undertaking a new hunger strike in a bid to press the UK Government into taking firmer action on behalf of his wife who has been arbitrarily detained in Iran for more than five-and-a-half years.

Ratcliffe is calling on Boris Johnson and other ministers to publicly describe his wife as a "hostage" of the Iranian state and build this into ongoing negotiations on Iran's nuclear programme so that hostage-taking cannot continue, to make a commitment to settle an outstanding tank debt with Iran, which he promised to do in 2017, and to take action against Iranian officials deemed responsible for his wife's unjust detention.

Last weekend, it was announced that Nazanin Zaghari-Racliffe had lost an appeal against a second jail sentence and now faces the prospect of an imminent return to jail. Their daughter Gabriella, MPs and other supporters are expected to attend protest.

Wendy Chamberlain said: "Nazanin and her family have been badly let down by the Prime Minister and this government. Boris Johnson promised that he would leave no stone left unturned in his efforts to secure Nazanin release. But, after more than five years, he has all but abandoned that promise and broken the trust that the family placed in him.

"Over that time, at least three more British nationals have been arbitrarily detained in Iran, Anoosheh Ashoori, Mehran Raoof and Morad Tahbaz but the UK Government appears powerless or unwilling to act.

"The Liberal Democrats have repeatedly called for the Foreign Secretary to begin the process of introducing targeted sanctions against those responsible. The government must do everything in its power to bring Nazanin home and reunited her with her family."