Mum in Iran jail missing her family
A MOTHER who has been locked up in one of Iran’s most notorious prisons on “secret charges” is missing out on her daughter growing up, her family say.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 39, was jailed in April 2016 after visiting her parents in Iran with her daughter Gabriella.
The British-Iranian citizen was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment in Evin Prison on charges which have not been made public and has been held as a political prisoner ever since.
It has been claimed that the charity worker was accused of plotting to topple the Iranian regime.
While her mother has been in prison, Gabriella, now three, has been living with Nazanin’s parents in Iran which has meant she has not seen her mother or her father Richard, who remains in the UK, for half of her life.
Nazanin’s sister-in-law Rebecca Jones, who lives in Cardiff, said: “Gabriella is three now and she has grown up so quickly without her mother and father.
“Half of her life Gabriella has been away from her mum and dad. She’s started school without them, has been potty trained without them, and she now speaks Farsi and speaks little English.
“Neither her mum or dad are her primary care givers, it’s her grandparents, and they’re both really struggling with that.”
Rebecca said her sister-in-law has been struggling with her mental health as a result of her imprisonment and separation from her family.
Rebecca, a Cwmbran based GP, said: “Physically she’s feeling better, her shoulder pain has eased off but now it’s more the depression. The longer this goes on for, the worse it gets.
“She’s struggling quite a lot every time a new anniversary comes up in the calendar – it hits home that she is missing out on Gabriella and Richard’s lives.”
Last week, Nazanin’s husband Richard travelled to the UN in New York to attempt a meeting with the Iranian delegation and press his application for a visa to visit Iran.
The application has been processing for a number of months and has prevented Richard from seeing his wife and daughter for 18 months.
Rebecca said: “Nazanin now sees Gabriella twice a week and also has regular phone calls with Richard so we’re in a much better place than last year, but we’re still 18 months down the line and it doesn’t seem like it’s any closer to her freedom.”
She said: “It’s hard for her to keep positive and to keep her hopes up.”