Nazanin Needs Help: Abducted in Iran

British-Iranian charity worker abducted in Iran, this is her situation two years later.

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It is far too often that we hear about mistreatment in non-Western lands.

The case for Nazanin, is one to be heard.  Whenever I read, or am told, about one of these types of stories, I always think about why someone so generous, like Nazanin, would want to jeopardize their life, deliberately.  

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is an Iranian-British citizen and employee for the Reuters Charity Organization, an establishment that is managed separately from Reuters News.  In 2016, and at 37-years-old, the charity worker planned a holiday in Iran.  Iran is where Nazarine is from and, naturally, this would seem like the opportune vacationing location for her and her young daughter Gabriella, whom she wanted to introduce to her parents.

The next thing Nazanin knew, she was being abducted and forced, under duress, to sign papers admitting guilt to outrageous charges.  This, subsequently, led to her imprisonment by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

Former United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson released a statement, hoping to get to the bottom of Nazanin’s arrest and free her.  In his declaration, he stated that he was under the impression that she was there simply to teach journalism.  Obviously, a comment of this nature by a senior official could be seen as threatening to the Iranian regime and further increase suspicions that Nazanin could have been there to spread propaganda against it.

Additionally, Nazanin was formerly a member of a BBC Media team.  This is important to note because of the regime’s abject disdain for BBC Persian.  BBC Persian which is controlled by the BBC World Service, which handles the foreign language services was funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of British government.  The Iranian regime considers the BBC Persian to be a disruptive political wing of the MI6.  

The regime is so overtly biased against BBC Persian, that they have been known to jail, or freeze assets belonging to BBC Persian associates.  They have also held investigations against the broadcasting company for supposed links to threats of national security.

Nazanin was accused by Iran of being apart of BBC Persian.  In Nazanin’s circumstances, the Iranian regime accused her of spying on the State.  Her family was then told, by the regime, that she was a suspected national security threat. 

The BBC immediately rejected any notion of Nazanin being complicit of any illegal national conspiracies, further insisting that Nazanin was only a junior associate of the BBC Media team at the time.  

After two years, this story is still developing and since the smoke, it is subject to much political controversy by the British government which continues to endeavour to acquire Nazanin’s liberty.  But Nazanin is not the only victim under these very similar harsh conditions.

According to the Guardian, a 78-years-old British-Iranian was taken into custody by the regime on charges of alcohol possession and espionage.  Since 2015, approximately 30 dual Iranian citizens have been placed under arrest, and in the majority of the cases under espionage charges.

As Iran does not acknowledge dual citizenship, it is very difficult for foreign embassies to speak out on behalf of their detained Iranian citizens.

I reiterate my earlier concern: why is it that people can feel so safe going to a foreign land with an oppressive regime that is contrary to everything these people stand for?  Did these people really think, with all of the animosity that Iran harbours for the West, that life would be so simple in Iran? Iran, being the oppressive and cruel regime that it is, seriously needs a liberal revolution.

After much persistence by Nazanin’s legal team, and particularly the work by her husband, Richard Ratcliffe and his Free Nazanin Campaign, Nazanin was allowed a temporary release.  This raised hopes for Nazanin’s family, but for naught, as Nazanin was forced to go back to prison yesterday, August 26, 2018.

A tweet by the internationally renowned author and war reporter Farnaz Fassihi:

Nazanin turned herself in at the middle of the night so her daughter, as Nazanin’s husband suggests, would not have to see her mommy dragged out of bed by regime authorities.

Nazanin’s husband, parents and young daughter are still waiting for her release.

More on this story, only at The Post Millennial.


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Jonathan Wasserlauf
Jonathan is interested in the intersection between politics, pop culture, the media, and their audiences.
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