Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe | June 2019

I have received many emails regarding Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.
The detention of Naznin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is a serious issue of concern, being both immoral and totally unjustifiable. The British Government has stressed that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is a totally innocent woman, and has condemned how despite this, she has endured three years in an Iranian jail, being separated from her daughter and husband.
The Foreign Office and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has been working hard to secure Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s release, but unfortunately has thus far been unsuccessful. It is hugely troubling that the Government has not even been able to secure the medical treatment that Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s urgently needs. It should be stressed that the Iranian government does not recognise dual nationality and, consequently, if a dual national such as Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe s detained in Iran, the FCO’s capacity to provide consular support is extremely limited. Despite this, the FCO is doing it it can to secure the release of Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe.
As you will be aware, in March of this year, the Foreign Secretary took the unusual step by afford Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe diplomatic protection in an effort to secure her release. This represents formal recognition by the British Government that her treatment fails to meet Iran’s obligations under international law and elevates it to a formal State to State issue. This means that the Government of Iran is now in violation of international law, and such a move is an important diplomatic step which signals to Tehran that its behaviour is totally wrong. Such a move also reaffirms that Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe is innocent, and the UK will support one of its citizens who is treated so unjustly.
No government should use innocent individuals as pawns for diplomatic leverage, and I hope that the government of Iran finally comes to its sense and releases this innocent British citizen. From my time as a Member of Parliament, the actions of the Iranian government have concerned me greatly, and I have become all too aware of the suppression of basic freedoms by the Iranian government. I firmly believe that the Iranian Government’s human rights violations are a barometer of the regime’s waning popularity, and will only lead to the increasing popular discontent within the country.
June 2019

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