British mother detained in Iran denied early release, put in solitary confinement

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe (R) with her husband, Richard, and their daughter, Gabriella. (Richard Radcliffe)

A British woman detained in Iran appears to have been returned to solitary confinement, as hopes for her early release grow increasingly dim. Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 37, was detained by the Revolutionary Guard Corps on April 3 while trying to leave Iran with her 22-month-old daughter, Gabriella. Ratcliffe, a dual British-Iranian citizen, had been visiting her parents in Tehran. Authorities also confiscated Gabriella’s British passport, forcing the toddler to remain inside Iran with her grandparents. Immediately after Ratcliffe’s arrest, she was taken to a prison 600 miles southeast of Tehran and placed in solitary confinement. She was transferred to a group cell on May 18, where she was allowed to see her parents and Gabriella.

Gabriella turned two last Saturday without either of her parents present. In the last call Ratcliffe was allowed to make from a jail on June 5, she had expressed the hope she might be released in time for her daughter’s birthday. Since then, her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, has heard nothing from her, and is unsure of what prison they are even holding her in. “Everything we know is consistent with her being back in solitary,” he said. “It feels like it’s a demonstration of power and control. She really had built all her hopes up to be released in time for Gabriella’s birthday.”

The Iranian regime is notoriously suspicious of Iranian nationals who also carry Western passports. Exactly what crime or offense Ratcliffe is being charged with remains unknown.

Read the full story at The Telegraph.


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