Last week was a bad week for London mother and journalist Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. Already serving 5 years in an Iranian jail for “allegedly plotting to topple the Iranian regime” she could now face a further 5 years due to Boris Johnson’s blunder last week saying she was “training journalists” in the country when she was actually on holiday visiting family.
In March 2016, Nazanin, who is a project manager for the Thomson Reuters Foundation was visiting family during Nowruz (the Persian New Year).
Whilst attempting to board a flight back to the UK with her then 22 month old daughter, she was arrested by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard for reasons that were unclear at the time. Her daughters passport was confiscated and remains in the care of her grandparents in Iran. She is not allowed to leave Iran to be re-united with her father in Britiain.
According to Amnesty International the reason for her arrest and detention are:
“The charge was in connection to her work at the Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF), a charity organisation promoting socio-economic progress, independent journalism and the rule of law, and her past work at BBC’s Media Action.”
In September that year she was sentenced to 5 years in Evin prison which is described as “ a black hole of evil” where women have been tortured and beaten.
Last week during a commons select committee meeting Boris said that Nazanin was in Iran training journalists at the time rather than what she was actually doing which was visiting family whilst on holiday.
The remark by the British Foreign Secretary then led to Nazanin being hauled in front of an Iranian court with fresh accusations of propaganda against the regime. After the huge blunder by Johnson he contacted his Iranian counterpart to try and clarify that his remarks did not shed new light on the case.
Since trying to wriggle his way out of a frankly shocking situation he has caused, Iranian state TV & the Iranian Judiciary news website have now been carrying stories titled “Confession” showing Boris and his remarks, and also reiterating statements made last year saying Zaghari-Ratcliff was in fact “one of the main network leaders of enemy organisations, directed and supported by media and spy services of foreign governments”.
The IRINN media outlet in Iran said that Johnson’s original remarks and his subsequent apology and attempt at clarification showed that: ″Zaghari-Ratcliffe came to Iran on a British mission”, adding: “Denying this fact will not reduce her crime.”
As expected her family are horrified at her quite frankly now desperate plight and are doing all they can too try and limit the damage caused. Boris will in fact be visiting Iran to try and deal with the situation but is this wise considering the damage he has already done.
As expected there are fresh calls for Boris to be sacked or hand in his resignation, this is only to be expected and if the man had any dignity he would do this immediately and let others with more compassion and knowledge of the region to try and undo the horrific damage that has been done.
Vote on our Twitter poll, should he be sacked:
— BangsThought (@BangsThought) November 10, 2017
Visit Amnesty International to find out more about here plight and show your support: https://www.amnesty.org.nz/get-nazanin-home
There is also more on Wikipedia about the whole case: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazanin_Zaghari-Ratcliffe