It was inspiring to meet the wonderful Richard Ratcliffe earlier this week, who is camping outside the Iranian embassy while on hunger strike to protest the wrongful imprisonment of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. Nazanin, who is married to Richard, was arrested by the Iranian Government in April 2016 and given a five-year sentence for espionage.
Many other Labour MPs have visited Richard to offer support and solidarity. He remains determined to overturn the injustice, despite the Iranian Government repeatedly refusing calls to release Nazanin, who is on hunger strike herself.
Nazanin’s case was not helped by current Tory leadership hopeful Boris Johnson who wrongly asserted in 2017 that she had visited Iran to teach journalism. This irresponsible and careless blunder, which Richard says ‘obviously had traumatic effects’ for Nazanin, helps to demonstrate just how unsuited Johnson is for the role of Prime Minister.
I wish Nazanin and Richard all the best in their fight for justice. Whoever replaces Theresa May as Tory leader must prioritise securing Nazanin’s release.