100 days in detention: Nazanin still jailed in Iran without reason
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.
Demand justice for Nazanin
Text IRAN2 and your full name to 70505 to ask Iran to charge or release Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe. Over 14s only please. More about taking action by text
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.
100 days of worrying
The first time I met Nazanin’s husband, Richard Ratcliffe, was in May this year, at a vigil at London's Iranian Embassy to mark five years in prison for another dual British-Iranian citizen, Kamal Foroughi. Richard had yet to go public about his own family situation then, and it wasn’t until the following week when I read about Nazanin in the news that I realised who Richard was.
When finding out about cases like Nazanin’s and meeting the family of those people on whose behalf Amnesty is campaigning, one of the things that always hits me is the appalling worry. To call it worry doesn’t do it justice – it’s not worry that most of us, thankfully, have ever known. The endless, constant wondering and worrying and thinking about the family you’re separated from, seems almost impossible to bear. Richard writes about it far more eloquently that I do.
A month ago, Nazanin was moved from an undisclosed detention centre in Kerman, southern Iran, to Evin prison in Tehran. She now has a cellmate and has been able to see her mother and daughter once a week since she was moved. She has also been able to speak to Richard. However, her family have no way of contacting her. The worry never stops.
Demand justice for Nazanin
Send an SMS
Text IRAN2 and your full name to 70505
We use SMS actions to collect petition signatures on urgent cases like Nazanin's. When you text, your name (but not your number) will be added to a petition that we hand to Iranian authorities. We will also let Richard know how many people are calling for justice for his wife.
You need to be 14 years old to take action by SMS. Find out more about taking action by text
What are we calling for?
We are calling on the Iranian authorities to release Nazanin now - unless she is charged with an internationally recognisable offence, in which case they need to formally charge her as soon as possible. They need to do this transparently and give her a fair trial before the law.
We're also asking Iranian authorities to allow Nazanin regular contact with her lawyer, assistance from the British Embassy in Iran, and visits and phone calls from her family, including her daughter.
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.