Husband Calls for 'Game' to End on Nazanin's 2,000th Day of Detention

September 24, 2021
2 min read
Husband Calls for 'Game' to End on Nazanin's 2,000th Day of Detention

British-Iranian charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has now been imprisoned in Iran for 2,000 days.

To mark the dismal milestone, her husband Richard Ratcliffe stood on top of a giant game of snakes and ladders – a traditional board game in the UK – in London’s Parliament Square together with the couple’s seven-year-old daughter, Gabrielle.

“It’s [been] 2,000 days of ups and downs, twists and false dawns,” he told reporters. “Snakes and ladders seemed to encapsulate that we are in the middle of a game between two governments. We are just a bargaining chip.”

Nazanin was first arrested together with her daughter in April 2016 as she tried to return home from a trip to Iran to visit her family. Accused of espionage by the judiciary, she was held in Evin Prison, then under house arrest, until her five-year sentence concluded this spring.

Then in May 2021, she  was sentenced to an additional year in prison on the charge of “propaganda against the regime,” after it emerged that she had participated in a protest outside the Iranian Embassy in London in 2009.  

Richard Ratcliffe maintains that his wife was imprisoned as leverage for a £400m debt owed by the UK over its failure to deliver tanks to Iran in 1979. He says Nazanin’s case is also linked to ongoing negotiations over a possible revival of the JCPOA. 

“The government needs to be brave,” he said, “and just start doing things that will cause a rethink among those in charge of Iran’s hostage-taking.”

At least 16 dual nationals and one foreign national were known to be held in Iran as of August 2021, according to the Center for Human Rights in Iran. Nazanin is one of three British-Iranians known to currently be detained in Iran on spurious charges.  

Related coverage:

Judiciary Says Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe “Should Thank the Islamic Republic”

Revolutionary Court Sentences Nazanin to Another Year Behind Bars

The British-Iranian Hostages Iran Labels as Terrorists

Nazanin's Husband: Hostage-Taking by Iran Must End

Judiciary Secretary Claims Hostages Want to Stay in Iranian Prisons



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