Amnesty International on Wednesday July 13, 2016 announce that today marks 100 days since British-Iranian charity worker Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe was arrested at Tehran’s airport as she prepared to fly home to the UK with her young daughter. She’s been detained ever since.
One hundred days separated from her two-year-old daughter and her husband. One hundred days of not knowing why on earth she is in jail.
There were reports yesterday that Nazanin has been charged with an as-yet unknown crime. But as far as we know, she has not been formally charged. She has been held without any justification – including weeks in solitary confinement.
We’re asking Iran to charge or release Nazanin immediately.
100 days of waiting
Nazanin, a project manager at Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charity wing of the news and media company, was visiting family in Iran with her daughter, Gabrielle, when she was stopped at the airport on her way home on 3 April. She was arrested by officials believed to belong to the Revolutionary Guard. She was not told why. Her toddler daughter – a British national – had her UK passport confiscated (she does not have an Iranian passport) and was handed to her grandparents who had accompanied them to the airport, while Nazanin was taken away by the authorities.
Nazanin spent 45 days in solitary confinement after she was arrested. Her family didn’t know where she had been taken. She was denied access to a lawyer, and barred from meeting her family until over a month into her detention. Now, any contact with her family in Iran and the UK is limited and controlled.
The Iranian authorities have yet to explain to Nazanin her crime. The closest they’ve got is an unidentified official telling the family that Nazanin is being held ‘for reasons related to national security’. If that’s the case, the authorities should make any allegations against Nazanin clear to her and her lawyer, and give her a fair trial.