Campaigners around the country have been appealing for the release of a British charity worker and and young mother, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has been held in solitary confinement for eight months in Iran without charge. On Monday, carol singers sang outside Downing Street to publicise a petition which has already had nearly 900,000 signatures.
Nazanin's husband Richard writes that: "hundreds of mothers from as far away as Bristol, Bath and Birmingham also gathered in Trafalgar Square, where they held held inter-faith prayers for her alongside the Christmas lights before walking past Downing Street to the Houses of Parliament. They had also planted some daffodils in the park, Nazanin's favourite flower. They will be there waiting for her spring."
At Corpus Christi parish, Brixton Hill children have been taking part in the Amnesty Christmas card project, making cards with messages to send to Nazanin. So far, groups in parishes and schools have sent some 26,000 cards and messages, although so far - none have reached her.
Richard writes: "Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a 37 year old charity worker, was on holiday visiting her family in Iran. She was at the airport returning to the UK on the 3rd April when she was detained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. She has been transferred to an unknown location in Kerman Province, 1,000 kilometres south of Tehran, and is being held in solitary confinement.
"Gabriella Ratcliffe our 22 month old daughter (who has British citizenship only) has had her British passport confiscated, and is stranded in Iran with her grandparents.
"Nazanin has not been allowed to access a lawyer or her daughter. She has not been able to call out of the country to speak to me, her British husband, and the Red Cross have not been able to make contact.
"There have been no charges. Nazanin has informed her family that she has been required to sign a confession under duress, its content unknown. Her family have been informed that the investigation relates to an issue of 'national security'.
It is hard to understand how a young mother and her small child on holiday could be considered an issue of national security. She has been to Iran to visit her family regularly since making Britain her home.
Nazanin currently works as a project manager for the Thomson-Reuters Foundation; which delivers charitable projects around the world. It does not work in Iran.
Please help bring my wife and daughter home by signing my petition calling on our Prime Minister Theresa May to use her power and intervene."
To sign the petition see: www.change.org/p/free-nazanin-ratcliffe
If you would like to write to Nazanin, you can:
Via Amnesty: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe c/o Individuals At Risk Section, Amnesty International UK, Human Rights Action Centre, 17-25 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA, UK
Via the Iranian Embassy: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe c/o Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 16 Princes Gate, London, SW7 1PT
Or direct to the prison in Iran: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, Evin Prison, District 2, Behesht St, Tehran, Iran
Electronic messages can be sent here: https://write.amnesty.org.uk/write-for-rights/action/nazanin-zaghari-ratcliffe-uk-iran
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