‘She has been good.’ Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's daughter asks Boris Johnson to help get her mother released
Two daughters of jailed British-Iranian citizens join forces to pressure Iran to release their parents
The young daughter of British-Iranian citizen Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe wrote to the British prime minister seeking to have her mother returned from Iran as her family prepares to spend a fifth Christmas apart.
“Dear Boris Johnson, please can you bring my mummy home for Christmas,” said Gabriella, 6, in her Christmas card to the British leader. “She has been good.”
The request features in a joint video plea for government action featuring the adult daughter of another British-Iranian inmate, Anoosheh Ashoori, 66, who is serving a 10-year jail term on what his supporters say are fabricated charges of spying for Israel.
Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 41, was detained in April 2016 as she prepared to head home from Iran after visiting her parents with Gabriella, who was a year old at the time. She was convicted at a secret trial and accused of seeking to bring down the Iranian regime.
Her family say she is being held as a hostage by the Iranian regime as part of a broader diplomatic struggle over a £400-million arms debt owed by the UK that dates back to the 1970s.
Gabriella features with Elika,28 years her senior and the daughter of Mr Ashoori , in a video produced by Amnesty International in which they reveal their pain over the continued absence of their parents.
Gabriella, who returned home to the UK last year, says in the video that she finds it hard to draw her mother on her Christmas card and asks her father what colour her eyes are. She says she most misses her mother at night “because I cry about it” and wants her home.
“When she comes back, I want to cuddle her first and then go to the toy shop,” she said in the video message.
Mr Ashoori also appeals for British prisoners not to be forgotten in the telephone call from Evin prison. He has been kept behind bars despite a mass prison release because of fears over the coronavirus pandemic sweeping through Iran’s prison system.
Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe was freed from jail in March and is at her parents’ home subject to recall to prison. She has to wear an electronic tag to prevent her from leaving the country.
She is due for release in April next year but faces further charges, which could extend her time in prison.
Updated: December 22, 2020 05:15 PM