Daughter of jailed British-Iranian woman returns to UK
The five-year-old daughter of a British-Iranian woman jailed in Iran has returned home to the UK after more than three years living in the Middle East.
Gabriella Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been living with her grandparents in Tehran since her mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested.
She was reunited with her father, Richard Ratcliffe, on Thursday night after three and a half years apart.
“Gabriella came back to us late at night, a bit uncertain seeing those she only remembered from the phone,” Mr Ratcliffe said in a statement on Friday.
“It has been a long journey to have her home, with bumps right until the end.”
The five-year-old’s parents made the painful decision to bring her back from Iran so she can start school.
“It was a hard goodbye for Nazanin and all her family. But let us hope this homecoming unlocks another,” Mr Ratcliffe said.
While in Iran, Gabriella visited her mother in the notorious Evin Prison when the authorities would allow her to do so.
Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested in April 2016 and sentenced to five years in jail after being accused of spying, which she vehemently denies.
Labour’s Tulip Siddiq said Gabriella’s parents have made a decision that “no family” should have to make.
“It is heart-warming to see Gabriella reunited with her father after 1,300 days in Iran, but heart-breaking that she is separated from her mother Nazanin,” Ms Siddiq said.
“Nazanin is at breaking point, and today is yet another reminder that she has been failed at the very highest levels of government.”
Ms Siddiq called on Iran to end its “hostage diplomacy” and release Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe.