It has been two years since British-Iranian national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was detained in Iran on suspicion of spying. Her husband Richard Ratcliffe told euronews her health is increasingly deteriorating and said the anniversary carries a renewed sense of frustration and disappointment.
“Being promised you could be out, might not be out, is a real psychological game. It takes it out of you. […] Generally, she is very low. I mean, she’s getting panic attacks in her sleep, she’s struggling to sleep, she’s struggling in lots of ways. […] Whenever she’s out, there will be a long journey back to recover. I think it’ll mainly be psychological, but there are physical symptoms”, he explained.
It is hoped a new case taken to the UN will set the ball rolling for her release. A submission has been filed to the body’s special rapporteur on torture.
“It allows you to make your claim on a neutral forum. And then if they rule, then you can then go back to both governments and say ‘listen, your obligations under human rights law are not being met, so, what are you going to do’?”
A family separated
The couple’s young daughter Gabriella had her passport taken from her when her mother was detained and has been forced to stay in Iran since.
“Obviously, I have not seen her for two years, I can’t really speak to her properly. There’s a distance in the relationship. But she still knows that I’m her daddy and she still knows that we’re there for her. […] And, every so often she’s interested in seeing her bedroom in London – which we’re in now – because here, it’s a baby’s bed, so we’ve promised her when she comes back that we’ll buy her a big girl’s bed.”
'Not enough has been done'
“Not enough has been done. […] The head of the prison said to her a couple of weeks back ‘listen, I’ve approved your release and I approved it a few months back, but it’s in the hands of the foreign ministry now. The foreign ministry need to arrange it’. So it’s kind of a stand-off in Iran. The message we’re getting is that there is something that the British government needs to do. And that’s what’s holding it up”, he added.
For now, the campaign for Nazanin's release continues.