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June 26, 2019

Hunt urges Iran to let Nazanin ‘come home’

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P
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June 26, 2019

LONDON: Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has urged Iran to free a jailed charity worker, telling the Commons: “Let her come home.”

Hunt issued his latest plea in support of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian dual citizen, amid an ongoing hunger strike. Zaghari-Ratcliffe stopped taking food in protest at her “unfair imprisonment”, with her husband Richard also on hunger strike outside the Iranian Embassy in London.

The 40-year-old was arrested at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport in April 2016 and sentenced to five years in jail after being accused of spying — a charge she vehemently denies. Hunt earlier this year granted Zaghari-Ratcliffe diplomatic protection in a bid to resolve her case.

Speaking in the Commons, Conservative MP Paul Scully (Sutton and Cheam) said: “I’ve just returned from seeing Richard Ratcliffe who is on his 11th day of his hunger strike in support of his wife Nazanin, who still languishes in a prison in Iran.

“Can (Hunt) tell me, with the increased tensions with Iran at the moment, what more we can do to keep Nazanin at the forefront of the profile and that we can make sure the message to get her released is not lost with the other discussions that we have to have?”

Hunt said Ratcliffe is a “very brave man” who is doing a “remarkable job”. He said: “The whole House is thinking about Nazanin, thinking about her five-year-old daughter, thinking about that family. Our message to Iran is very simple: whatever disagreements you have with the UK, do not punish this innocent woman, it’s not her fault. Let her come home.”

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