The husband of British detainee Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe will be appealing to MPs from a giant snakes and ladders board on the 2,000th day of her imprisonment in Iran.
Richard Ratcliffe is planning to stand on the board with his daughter Gabriella at Parliament Square in central London on Thursday to symbolise the feeling of being “caught in a game between two governments”, Amnesty International has said.
This comes as Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is due to meet her Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian at the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday.
Ratcliffe has urged Truss to impress on Iran that “hostage-taking” is an “unacceptable practice”, and will invite MPs to join him on the colourful games board opposite the Houses of Parliament during his demonstration.
Since Nazanin was taken 2,000 days ago, we’ve had five foreign secretaries, three prime ministers, a referendum that changed the country, a US presidency that changed the world, and a pandemic that changed life for all of us.
And yet we remain – caught in a game between governments.
We live the ups and downs of our lives, as they roll their dice, and make their diplomatic moves.
With all its broken promises and false dawns, and the countless threats of more bad days to come, it is far too long to keep living like this.
We have been clear with the Prime Minister, he needs to be a lot braver in dealing with Iran’s hostage diplomacy.
The 10ft games board designed by Amnesty International, a group supporting Ratcliffe, features “ladders” including the UK granting Zaghari-Ratcliffe diplomatic protection status and Dominic Raab saying her treatment in Iran amounted to torture.
Meanwhile, the “snakes” symbolise events like her second jail sentence being handed down earlier this year.
Others also held in Iran
Amnesty International’s UK chief executive, Sacha Deshmukh, said:
People’s lives shouldn’t be treated like a game by governments – it’s excruciating to see how Nazanin and her family are being made to suffer like this.
We’re hoping Liz Truss will make the job of securing Nazanin’s release a major priority as Foreign Secretary.
The Government urgently needs to set out a clear strategy for securing the release of all British nationals unfairly held in Iran.”
Zaghari-Ratcliffe is one of several people with British or dual-British nationality detained in Iran.
She was held in Tehran in 2016 while taking daughter Gabriella to see her family, as authorities made widely refuted allegations of spying.
Amnesty International has said the family of another detainee in Iran, Anoosheh Ashoori, are also expected to attend the event, which is due to begin at 11am.
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?