Last Friday, Marietje Schaake sent a letter to High-Representative Federica Mogherini on the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, imprisoned in Iran. The letter below was co-signed by Molly Scott Cato, Frederique Ries, Jude Kirton-Darling, Gerard Deprez, Norica Nicolai, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Emma McClarkin, Hilde Vautmans, Neena Gill, Heinz K. Becker, Bronis Rope, Marian Harkin, Ivan Stefanec, Stefan Eck, Ana Gomes, Keith Taylor, Beatriz Becerra, Marita Ulvskog, Olle Ludvigsson, Jytte Guteland, Anna Hedh, Brando Benifiei, Nathalie Griesbeck, Alex Mayer, Anneliese Dodds, Stelios Kouloglou, Julie Ward and Sajjad Karim.
Dear High Representative/Vice-President,
We are writing to you to express our concern about Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a dual British-Iranian citizen, who since April 2016 remains imprisoned in Iran’s notorious Evin prison. Last Sunday (January 22nd 2017), an appeals court upheld her five year sentence, while the charges on which sentencing is based still remain unknown. Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s possibilities for appeal are now exhausted and she is destined to spend the next years in an Iranian jail.
Additionally, Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s 2-year old daughter Gabriella has had her British passport confiscated, effectively barring her from leaving Iran and seeing her father.
Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s case does not stand alone; several dual-nationals including from France, the United States and Canada are currently imprisoned in Iran. Generally, human rights in Iran, in particular in prisons, remain an issue of grave concern. Iran also still conducts high numbers of death sentences and executions.
Having started a human rights dialogue in the context of EU-Iranian relations last spring, we strongly urge you to use any future contact with Iranian authorities to press for the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and all others unfairly detained in Iran.
We welcome any additional information you may have about (your work on) this case.