Tag Archives: Ratcliffe

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe wins Magnitsky Award for bravery. British media ignore it

Free Nazanin: Richard Ratcliffe (right) with his and Nazanin’s daughter Gabriella – and their message. What a shame neither the UK government nor its client media are listening.

Why did This Writer have to find this news item on Euronews (whatever that is) rather than a UK news website like the BBC? Because the Tory government is embarrassed at its own lack of action?

(In fairness, I did see a line about it on the BBC News tickertape yesterday evening, November 18. Why has there been no full story, though?)

We all know the background, at least – don’t we?

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was imprisoned in Iran in 2016, on false charges. When, as Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson tried to intervene, he made matters worse by mistakenly saying she had done the act of which she had been accused.

Since then, Johnson has allowed Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe to be used as a bargaining chip in negotiations between the UK and Iran over more than £400 million owed to the Middle East country in an arms deal that fell through after the revolution there in the 1970s.

Tory former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt made an impassioned speech, demanding the return of that cash, earlier this week. But he probably knew that he was just blowing hot air into the Parliamentary atmosphere.

A more substantial contribution to the campaign for Nazanin was Jeremy Corbyn’s speech on the need for her to be freed, along with other prisoners in a similar situation in Iran:

One would have expected Nazanin winning a major human rights award would have been an even stronger contribution to her cause. Clearly the UK news media – like the Tory government – aren’t interested in human rights.

The Magnitsky Awards recognise “brave journalists, politicians and activists in the field of human rights and anticorruption”. They are named after Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who was killed in Russian police custody in 2009 after exposing government corruption.

She won the award for Courage Under Fire.

It was accepted on her behalf by her daughter Gabriella, who read out a statement from her mother (which I reproduce in two parts because these are the video clips available to me):

Sadly the lack of interest in Nazanin’s case suggests that she is still facing an indefinite wait.

Her husband Richard recently ended a 21-day hunger strike outside the Foreign Office in London. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss – and, it is understood, Johnson himself – walked past him without even acknowledging his existence.

And now we see only minimal interest from the national press, who seem far more interested in attempting to help Johnson distance himself from the corruption in which he and his government are mired.

It isn’t good enough. Current affairs are not a soap opera. Real lives are in the balance.

Real news reporters don’t brush those facts under the carpet.

Source: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: Iran detainee wins Magnitsky Award for bravery | Euronews

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Richard Ratcliffe ends hunger strike for Nazanin after government pays no attention at all

Action not words: and Boris Johnson’s government has done absolutely nothing.

This Writer is relieved. If he had gone on any longer, who knows how badly his body could have been damaged?

Richard Ratcliffe has ended his hunger strike to highlight the plight of his wife Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, after 21 days.

Nazanin has been imprisoned under false charges in Iran since 2016.

Boris Johnson famously mistook the accusation against her for what she did, providing the Iranian authorities with justification, not only for having jailed her, but for jailing her for an indefinite period to come.

then Johnson turned Nazanin’s freedom into a bargaining chip in an argument between the UK and Iran over around £450 million owed to the Middle East country since the Shah was overthrown in the late 1970s.

That gave the Iranians reason enough to find another charge on which to keep her imprisoned for another year.

Mr Ratcliffe, after having entrusted his wife’s well-being into the hands of the worst clown ever to hold high office, may have started his hunger strike in the belief that nothing will change unless there is a genuine threat to health and life.

But he has discovered that the Conservatives don’t even care about that. Current Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will have passed him on the street (he was camped outside the Foreign Office) to attend Parliamentary votes. She never even asked how he was.

He said he had started to get pains in his feet overnight and after discussion with his doctor he ended the hunger strike.

According to the BBC, he said he “didn’t want to go out in an ambulance”.

“I want to walk out with my head held high,” he said.

He was likely to have caused permanent damage to his body from the 15th day of the hunger strike onwards.

So the end of this hunger strike is a good thing. It wasn’t changing any Tory minds because they simply didn’t care whether Mr Ratcliffe lived or died. Their only interest in his wife is as a bargaining chip in negotiations over money.

This is not a defeat for Richard Ratcliffe. It is disgrace for Boris Johnson, Liz Truss and the pathetic excuse for a government that they front.

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Richard Ratcliffe hunger strike: Nazanin’s husband is risking permanent harm but the Tories don’t care

We’re 16 days into Richard Ratcliffe’s hunger strike outside the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and none of the Tory government could care less.

We shouldn’t be surprised.

Since Mr Ratcliffe’s wife Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was first imprisoned under false charges in Iran, the UK government has only worsened her situation.

Boris Johnson famously mistook the accusation against her for what she did, providing the Iranian authorities with justification, not only for having jailed her, but for jailing her for an indefinite period to come.

And then Johnson turned Nazanin’s freedom into a bargaining chip in an argument between the UK and Iran over around £450 million owed to the Middle East country since the Shah was overthrown in the late 1970s.

That gave the Iranians reason enough to find another charge on which to keep her imprisoned for another year.

But it won’t do any good because Johnson and the Tories couldn’t care less what happens to anybody who isn’t one of them.

Mr Ratcliffe, after having entrusted his wife’s well-being into the hands of the worst clown ever to hold high office, has realised that nothing will change unless there is a genuine threat to health and life.

So he started his hunger strike, more than two weeks ago – and is now in danger of suffering permanent harm to his health.

And nobody in the government has paid a blind bit of attention.

Liz Truss, the current Foreign Secretary, has probably walked past Mr Ratcliffe – on her way to vote in support of corrupt Owen Paterson last Wednesday, for example – without a first glance, let alone a second.

Mr Ratcliffe is receiving his fair share of celebrity visitors who are raising whatever publicity they can give him – but it’s not doing any good, for the reason I state below:

Then again, how many people in the UK even know that the husband of a woman who is wrongly imprisoned because of the prime minister is even on hunger strike at all?

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Nazanin’s husband goes on hunger strike for second time, due to Tory inaction

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: this image is now many years old. Is she still able to smile?

The husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has gone on hunger strike for a second time in two years.

He’s hoping to push the Tory government out of its current “couldn’t care less” attitude and into renewed efforts to bring her home.

Here’s the story:

Richard Ratcliffe will sleep in a tent outside the Foreign Office in London after his wife lost her latest appeal in Iran last week.

He said the UK government’s strategy was “broken”, adding: “It does feel like a policy of waiting and we can’t wait forever.

“I had a conversation with the British foreign secretary, Liz Truss, to ask her what she was going to do and she still said, well we are going to talk to the Iranians and there will be consequences if Nazanin goes back. That’s too late.

“Hunger strike is an extreme act and it’s always a bit precarious at the beginning,” he told Sky News.

He continued: “I have to say, I thought that would be a unique experience and that when the prime minister came into office he would resolve our case and keep his word.”

Mr Ratcliffe’s Labour MP, Tulip Siddiq, tweeted in his support – with similarly harsh criticism of the Conservative government:

This Site has been covering Nazanin’s story since Boris Johnson’s initial – disastrous – intervention and it is well worth covering the saga of Tory government ineptitude that has progressed since then:

The case was brought to the UK’s Foreign Secretary – at the time, Boris Johnson – in November 2017. And the first thing he did was make the situation worse.

He said Nazanin had been arrested because she had been “teaching journalism”. In fact, that was the reason for her arrest – a reason that she denies (the Iranian authorities related it to activism against the state).

He later tried to claim that his words had not been clear and he had meant even if she had been teaching journalism, that would not have justified her arrest. But this was not true – one of many lies he has spoken on his way to the top.

The Iranian authorities said they would use Johnson’s words against Nazanin, but he refused to apologise for worsening the situation.

Next it was rumoured that Johnson was going to pay Iran £450 million owed to that country but unpaid due to international sanctions, in return for Nazanin’s freedom…

Then it was said that he had put the brakes on that scheme for fear of upsetting US President Trump.

Nazanin went on hunger strike. While she starved, Johnson (now prime minister) was working on his suntan, on the billionaires’ playground island of Mustique.

She appeared in court on March 14 this year, on a new charge of propaganda against the regime – apparently based on allegations that she took part in a demonstration outside the Iranian embassy in London 12 years ago and gave an interview to the BBC Persian service.

She was later sentenced to a further year in prison and a one-year travel ban after being found guilty of propaganda against the regime in Iran.

Mr Ratcliffe now believes that Nazanin is a pawn in negotiations over the £400 million+ owed by the UK to Iran. The current issue seems to be about interest payable on the debt. Johnson doesn’t want to pay the figure demanded by Iran, one expects.

This Writer’s opinion is that Johnson doesn’t care what happens to Nazanin – he’d rather keep the cash. That’s a very odd way to behave, when one considers all the money he has splashed around to Tory donors and friends during the Covid-19 crisis.

But then, this is a man who (allegedly) said of Covid, “Let the bodies pile up in their thousands” – and they have. And now he is inflicting cholera on us all by allowing foreign-owned privatised water firms to dump raw sewage in our rivers.

With a prime minister responsible for that scale of barbarity, how could anybody expect him to lift a finger for one dual-nationality woman?

Source: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: Husband on hunger strike outside Foreign Office for second time in two years | UK News | Sky News

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Nazanin sentenced to ANOTHER year in Iranian prison – this is what happens when you ask a Tory for help

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: this wrongly-jailed woman has become a pawn in an international power struggle.

This poor woman might have been freed years ago if Boris Johnson hadn’t become involved and said the wrong thing at every opportunity.

For clarity:

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been sentenced to a further year in prison and a one-year travel ban after being found guilty of propaganda against the regime in Iran.

Her lawyer said she was accused of taking part in a protest in London 12 years ago and speaking to the BBC Persian service.

Johnson was asked to help arrange the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe when he was Foreign Secretary, way back in 2017 after she was first imprisoned in Iran on a false charge of sedition.

Idiot that he is, our current prime minister botched it to such an extent that she was told she may face new charges.

Now she has been convicted – again.

Nazanin’s husband Richard now believes that she is a pawn in negotiations over £400 million owed by the UK to Iran after a former ruler of that country, the Shah, paid for tanks that were never delivered because of the 1979 revolution in that country.

The current issue seems to be about interest payable on the debt. Johnson doesn’t want to pay the figure demanded by Iran, one expects.

I wrote last month that I don’t think Johnson cares what happens to Nazanin – he’d rather keep the cash.

That opinion can only be strengthened by the recent claim that he said he would rather see “bodies piled high in their thousands” than order another economic lockdown that harmed business profits.

Source: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe sentenced to a year in Iran prison – BBC News

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Tory idiocy means that on Mother’s Day, mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was back in Iranian court on new charge

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: this wrongly-jailed woman has become a pawn in an international power struggle.

This is what happens when you appeal to Boris Johnson for help.

Johnson was asked to help arrange the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe when he was Foreign Secretary, way back in 2017 after she was first imprisoned in Iran on a false charge of sedition.

Idiot that he is, our current prime minister botched it to such an extent that she was told she may face new charges.

It seems his untrue statement that she had been training journalists is not the reason she has been brought back to court. This Writer wonders whether it induced the Iranians to search for other reasons to imprison her, though.

She appeared in court on March 14 on a new charge of propaganda against the regime – apparently based on allegations that she took part in a demonstration outside the Iranian embassy in London 12 years ago and gave an interview to the BBC Persian service.

Nazanin’s husband Richard now believes that she is a pawn in negotiations over £400 million owed by the UK to Iran after a former ruler of that country, the Shah, paid for tanks that were never delivered because of the 1979 revolution in that country.

The current issue seems to be about interest payable on the debt. Johnson doesn’t want to pay the figure demanded by Iran, one expects.

So Nazanin stays in Iran – if not in prison (because of Covid-19) then under arrest.

Johnson doesn’t care. He’d rather have the cash.

Meanwhile his propaganda machine is trying to pretend that his government is still doing everything it can – and failing:

How sad that this Tory government’s failure to protect a woman should happen alongside the backlash over police oppression of women at the Sarah Everard vigil – on an annual day set aside to celebrate women.

Nitpickers can grip that it was Mother’s Day and not all women are mothers. Nazanin is, though – and she is separated from her child because of the wrong decisions of the UK’s prime minister.

Many of the people at Clapham Common were mothers – some were there with their daughters. No doubt all were there because they want their children to live in safer communities than we have now, due to Tory misrule.

So a day of celebration has turned – for many – into a day of anger and bitterness.

Source: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe in Tehran court on new charge – BBC News

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Tories had five years to free Nazanin; now they can only hope she’ll be released on schedule

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: did Boris Johnson ever give a damn about this UK citizen, wrongly imprisoned in Iran?

What a pathetic defeat for the Conservatives – and for Boris Johnson in particular.

You’ll remember that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was imprisoned by the Iranian authorities on trumped-up charges in 2016 – for five years.

The case was brought to the UK’s Foreign Secretary – at the time, Boris Johnson – in November 2017. And the first thing he did was make the situation worse.

He said Nazanin had been arrested because she had been “teaching journalism”. In fact, that was the reason for her arrest – a reason that she denies (the Iranian authorities related it to activism against the state).

He later tried to claim that his words had not been clear and he had meant even if she had been teaching journalism, that would not have justified her arrest. But this was not true – one of many lies he has spoken on his way to the top.

The Iranian authorities said they would use Johnson’s words against Nazanin, but he refused to apologise for worsening the situation.

Next it was rumoured that Johnson was going to pay Iran £450 million owed to that country but unpaid due to international sanctions, in return for Nazanin’s freedom…

Then it was said that he had put the brakes on that scheme for fear of upsetting US President Trump.

Nazanin went on hunger strike. While she starved, Johnson (now prime minister) was working on his suntan, on the billionaires’ playground island of Mustique.

Now, her prison sentence is due to end on March 7. And what is the UK government saying?

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that he would leave “no stone unturned” in his quest to have Zaghari-Ratcliffe released on time.

How pathetic. How humiliating. And what a let-down for Nazanin’s family, including husband Richard Ratcliffe who placed his hopes in the Tories and had them dashed on the rocks of international diplomacy.

There’s no guarantee that she will be released. The authorities in Iran have threatened to lengthen her sentence, or sentence her on new charges, on several occasions.

That will be an even greater humiliation for the Tories. Or it would be, if they cared.

Nazanin’s family do care. But the politicians probably think their agony of waiting is nobody’s business but their own.

Source: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe hopes to be freed ‘within weeks’ as the end of her prison sentence nears

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Car manufacturing jobs planned for Brexiteering Bridgend will now go to France

Jim Ratcliffe: the people of Bridgend would probably like to see the Ineos boss jump head-first off that parapet.

Another Brexiteering boss shafts the working people of Britain.

A majority of people in Bridgend voted for Brexit back in the 2016 referendum – possibly on the recommendations of people like Ineos boss Jim Ratcliffe (himself a Brexiter).

Ineos promised to manufacture a new 4×4 vehicle in Bridgend, as a successor to the Land Rover Discovery. Production was due to begin in 2021.

Except it turns out that Ratcliffe has now had a better offer from Europe and the car will now be built at the former Mercedes-Benz Hambach factory in Moselle, France.

Ratcliffe rubbed salt into the wounds with his comment on the new deal:

“Hambach presented us with a unique opportunity that we simply could not ignore: to buy a modern automotive manufacturing facility with a world-class workforce.”

He’s saying that facilities at Bridgend aren’t modern and the workforce is second-rate. What a charmer.

Perhaps we should have seen this coming, considering what Jacob Rees-Mogg said about Ineos on the BBC’s Question Time, and what actually happened:

Apparently Dominic Raab is a friend of Ratcliffe. Do you think he’ll ever respond to this query?

And what about the people of Bridgend? Hoodwinked, used, and cast aside, what comfort can they take from this?

Very cold comfort indeed.

Source: Ineos factory once planned for Wales will now be located in France instead – Wales Online

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Nazanin to go back before Iranian court to face new charges – linked to Johnson’s blunder

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: this wrongly-jailed woman has become a pawn in an international power struggle.


Just when it seemed Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s Iranian prison ordeal was coming to an end, she’s being dragged back into court.

And that country’s officials have taken great pleasure in letting us know that her plight is due to blundering Boris Johnson, the UK’s prime muppet.

Johnson was the idiot who blurted out in Parliament – in 2017, when he was Foreign Secretary – that Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been “training journalists”.

She had been doing nothing of the kind.

A project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, she had been doing nothing more sinister than visiting her family for the Persian New Year celebration when she was arrested in 2016.

But the Iranian authorities seized on Johnson’s idiotic remark and threatened to use it to add five more years to her five-year prison sentence.

Now – three years after Johnson misspoke, it seems they have decided to follow through on the threat:

Richard Ratcliffe said his wife will appear in court on Sunday accused of “spreading propaganda against the regime” in Iran.

Apparently that’s how they describe the teaching of journalism – which she wasn’t doing in any event.

Of course we all know that Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s imprisonment has more to do with the £400 million that the UK government owes to Iran.

It could not be paid before because of international sanctions – but when Boris Johnson’s career was in danger, it seems such concerns evaporated.

How contrary, then, for us to find that the money has not been paid, apparently because Johnson doesn’t want to upset Donald Trump.

Johnson, it seems, wanted to wait until after the US presidential election on November 3 because he wanted to know whether Trump would still be US president before taking action.

So the Iranian decision to go back to court now has put him in a particularly sticky situation.

Will he pay up and get Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe back?

Or will he delay, to stay on the right side of Donald Trump?

I think we all know the answer to that. Johnson is the runt of international politics.

When powerful people squabble, it is always the innocents who suffer.

Source: New Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe charges linked to Boris Johnson’s infamous gaffe – Mirror Online

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Is it true that Boris Johnson won’t help free Nazanin for fear of offending Donald Trump now?

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: Boris Johnson has botched attempts to have her released for most of her wrongfully-imposed five-year prison sentence.

Boris Johnson can say what he likes but it is starting to seem that he has some kind of grudge against Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

The British-Iranian woman, who was imprisoned in Iran in April 2016 on an apparently trumped-up charge, has been seeking the UK government’s help to release her for years.

But in this effort, Johnson seems to be her nemesis.

In November 2017, as foreign secretary, he told MPs Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been imprisoned for “simply teaching people journalism” – boneheadedly suggesting that she had committed the very act for which the Iranian authorities had imprisoned her.

In fact, Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe was a project manager with a charity and was in Iran to visit her family for Nowruz, the Persian New Year. She is not a journalist and has never trained them.

As a result of Johnson’s imbecility, she was dragged back to court and threatened with a further five years in jail.

Soon after, it was announced that the UK would pay Iran £400 million that is owed to that country but could not be paid because of international sanctions.

That money suddenly became available, in the opinion of many, because Johnson’s career was in danger and it might make the Iranian authorities more open to the idea of releasing Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

Now we discover that after almost three years, the money has not moved – and that Johnson might be stalling because he fears offending Donald Trump.

What does he have to do with it?

Lawyers for Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe say a High Court hearing on whether the payment may be carried out has been delayed until November 3 – the day after the US presidential election.

This suggests that Johnson wants to know whether Trump will still be president before taking any action.

According to The Independent:

Donald Trump has taken a hard line against Iran, including breaking an international agreement on the country’s nuclear programme signed by his predecessor. The US also takes a dim view of its allies working with Iran and has moved to try and section [I think it means sanction] European companies that do business there.

So Boris Johnson is admitting that, as long as he is prime minister, the UK will be an international weakling.

Perhaps he thinks that Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe has spent so long in prison now – her sentence is due to end in April next year – that it won’t make much of a difference.

One wonders whether he bothered to think of her in prison, while he enjoyed his luxury holiday in the tropics last Christmas – or even if he spared her a thought while he was “glamping” (I believe it is called) in Scotland. It seems doubtful. He is far too interested in himself.

Previous – Tory – prime ministers would have threatened war against any nation holding a British subject prisoner if they felt it was unwarranted, and have done so.

But Johnson is happy to throw his fellow Brits to the dogs so he can suck up to someone he thinks is bigger than he is.

Source: UK deliberately delaying Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe release action ‘for fear of offending Trump’, says her lawyers | The Independent

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