Boris Johnson Needs To Stop Grandstanding And Help Get My Constituent Out Of An Iranian Jail

In its most recent human rights report, the Foreign Commonwealth Office noted the “worsening” human rights situation in Iran. It summarised a bleak picture. Massive numbers of executions, arrests of journalists and bloggers, systematic discrimination against women.

It might also have added: a pattern of jailing dual-nationals as a form of diplomatic blackmail. Because that’s what seems to be happening with people like my constituent Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe – i.e. people who are Iranian by birth but also citizens of Western countries.

Nazanin, a charity worker from West Hampstead, is currently languishing in a cell in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison. Her story is like something from a bad thriller. After a routine family holiday in Iran, Nazanin was detained on 3 April along with her toddler daughter Gabriella at Tehran airport as she was about to fly back to Britain. Separated from Gabriella (whose passport was confiscated before she was handed over to her Iranian grandparents), Nazanin was taken away and placed in solitary confinement, where she was to remain for over a month.

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