Tag Archives: Ratcliffe

Young Iranians are protesting against the regime that murders women ‘for their own good’

Murdered: Mahsa Amini.

Brace yourself, because this won’t be easy to watch or read.

Last night (September 29), on Late Night Mash, comedian Shaparak (Shappi) Khorsandi delivered an impassioned attack on the so-called morality police in her homeland of Iran.

These are people who murder women for failing to cover their hair completely. Watch:

For more context on this, here’s another comedian from Iran, Omid Djalili:

Bear in mind that he said 41 people had died four days ago. By yesterday that death toll had more than doubled:

Thousands of Iranians are protesting – and risking their lives to do so – but people across the world are taking action as well.

Here in the UK, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was imprisoned in Iran for six years, cut her hair in a gesture of solidarity with women in and from Iran who have thrown away their hijabs to do the same:

This should provide some context for her act:

Other people have done other things:

If people in Iran are risking their lives to make a stand against this, then people elsewhere can certainly do something in solidarity.

Will you? Or do you think it’s all right because it isn’t happening to you?

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Ignorant Johnson fails to apologise after Nazanin tells him she lived in ‘shadow of his words’

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: when she explained to Boris Johnson how his ill-chosen and false comments in 2017 affected her experience of jail in Iran, he affected shock – and refused to apologise.

Boris Johnson’s ignorance and hubris really do know no bounds.

Faced with first-hand information about the effect his personal stupidity had on a woman who had been falsely jailed in Iran, he affected shock – not that he had caused such harm, it seems, but that he was being criticised.

And he failed to apologise.

Johnson had been accused of lengthening her ordeal when, as foreign secretary in 2017, he wrongly claimed she had been training journalists at the time of her arrest in 2016.

Four days after Johnson’s damaging remarks as foreign secretary, she was summoned before an unscheduled court hearing, where his comments were cited as proof that she was engaged in “propaganda against the regime”.

The incident took place at a meeting between Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, together with her husband Richard and daughter Gabriella, and Boris Johnson in Downing Street on Friday (May 13):

Mr Ratcliffe said his wife challenged the Prime Minister on “why did it take so long” to secure her release.

She also told him the “massive impact” his comments had on her, even saying the Iranian authorities brought Mr Johnson’s words up during interrogation shortly before her release.

Asked if the Prime Minister apologised, Mr Ratcliffe responded: “Not specifically.”

Nazanin’s MP, Tulip Siddiq, was also at the meeting:

“I was really proud of Nazanin. She was sitting next to the Prime Minister, and she told him very clearly and categorically that his words had had a big impact on her and that she had lived in the shadow of his words for the best part of four-and-a-half years,” Ms Siddiq said.

“I have to say the Prime Minister looked quite shocked, I think, when she said that, but I was really proud she did say that because… there was a time when the words had a big impact.”

Ms Siddiq [said] that her constituent “didn’t mince words” with the Prime Minister, saying his comments had “haunted her for four-and-a-half years”.

The family urged Johnson to give evidence to the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee inquiry into the Government’s handling of the case. He said he would look at it, which probably means no.

They also pressed him to help free the other Iranian dual nationals still being held in detention.

Nobody seemed to touch on the alleged reason Nazanin was freed – that the UK had paid more than £400 million owed to Iran for the failed sale of military equipment back in the 1970s.

If that was in fact the case, then Johnson will not be able to repeat it. This Writer fears that his answer to the second request will also, therefore, be no.

So ends another contemptible contribution to the failures of the UK’s worst-ever leadership failure.

Source: PM does not apologise after Nazanin tells him she lived in ‘shadow of his words’ | The Independent

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Nazanin’s calm criticism makes nonsense of boasts by Johnson and his government

Home at last: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has, quietly and with dignity, made nonsense of claims by Boris Johnson and his government that they worked tirelessly to free her.

A newspaper reporter on the BBC’s Politics Live tried to say current foreign secretary Liz Truss was to be praised for achieving the release, but we all know her actions were not even slightly motivated by concern for Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

Truss paid a £400 million debt the UK owed Iran in the hope that it would win a deal for cheap fossil fuels to alleviate the cost-of-living crisis her government has forced on its fellow citizens.

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s calm comments on the way she was mistreated by UK foreign secretaries – including Truss and current prime minister Boris Johnson – should act like daggers in the heart of the Tory government:

Tory voters: take note – if you were in trouble, a Tory government would treat you no better.

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Is this the new Tory energy policy – going cap in hand to tyrants?

Begging bowl already loaded: this is actually a stock shot to illustrate Boris Johnson’s junket around the world, trying to chum up with foreign dictators in return for cheap oil. But what does he have to offer in return?

Boris Johnson’s decision to traipse around the world’s dictators with his begging bowl in hand has been mocked harshly by MPs in the UK’s Parliament.

He is currently in Saudi Arabia to sign a business deal with the government there, days after it carried out the largest mass execution of civilians in modern history – 81 people including seven people from neighbouring Yemen, with whom the Saudis are at war.

Called out over it by Labour Deputy Leader Angela Rayner during (Deputy) Prime Minister’s Questions, Dominic Raab had no answer other than a complete non-sequitur about the Salisbury Poisoning of 2018 and former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

He was upbraided by Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle for harking back to the past,

And his claim wasn’t even accurate!

None of his bluster cut any ice with MPs, though – as a subsequent question by Alistair Carmichael showed:

And it struck a jarring contrast with Raab’s own words about the “despotic regime” in Iran that has just released Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe after six years.

After Ms Rayner welcomed the development – and asked for an inquiry to determine whether Johnson’s “lazy words” in 2018 had lengthened her prison term, Raab suggested she should not give “succour” to Iran:

What an odd thing to suggest about a dictatorship that only released her because his government had finally paid a decades-old £400 million debt in order to gain access to that “despotic regime” and its oil!

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Nazanin could be coming home – but only because Boris Johnson needs Iranian oil

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: this wrongly-jailed woman may be released at long last – not because of any breakthrough in negotiations over her, but because Boris Johnson has apparently paid a long-standing debt to Iran in order to gain access to cheap oil.

Once again, with Boris Johnson, it seems the right thing has only happened for the wrong reason.

Johnson ruined Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s chance of release from prison in Iran back in 2018 when, as Foreign Secretary, he stupidly said she had done exactly what the Iranian authorities had jailed her for doing – running a course in journalism. In fact she had been visiting her family.

She has spent five and a half years in prison. Her original five year term ended in March last year but she was immediately charged with a further crime of propaganda activities against the government and jailed for another year on April 26, 2021. So her jail term is nearly spent in any case.

Today (March 15), Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s MP, Tulip Siddiq, tweeted that her constituent’s passport had been returned to her, suggesting that a return to the UK is likely in the near future.

Sadly, it does not seem that this turn of events has been brought about by any change in the prisoner’s circumstances – or indeed, any negotiations on her behalf by the UK government.

It seems to relate to an alleged £400 million debt incurred by the UK government after an order for military equipment was cancelled because of the revolution in Iran in the late 1970s.

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband Richard related this to her case some time ago, saying Iran was refusing to release her until the debt was paid.

Now, reports suggest Boris Johnson has paid up – not to free Nazanin, though, but because the Russo-Ukrainian war means he wants access to cheap oil:

That’s a good question to ask Boris Johnson: “Well, is it?

While we wait for his answer, let’s consider some of his remarks about the case today – in the light of the evidence that he has paid off the debt because he wants oil – not Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe (these are from the BBC report).

Boris Johnson said it would not be sensible to comment “until we’ve got a final result” but said “delicate discussions are going on”.

Obviously he’s not even referring to Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe but to whether he’ll secure any cheap oil for the UK. That’s the subject of the “delicate discussions”. Otherwise this comment doesn’t make sense.

You can see corroboration of that interpretation here:

Mr Johnson said he did not want to “tempt fate” and said that negotiations about “all our difficult consular cases have been going on for a long time”.

He didn’t want to discuss Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe individually and couldn’t say more than he did, because there was nothing to say.

Then, pressed on Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe individually, he came out with this classic fluff:

The prime minister added: “Everybody wants Nazanin home, we’ve been working on that for a long, long time, I do not want to do anything to interrupt conversations right now.”

This is a stock phrase that you will hear repeated whenever there is nothing new to say on a subject.

It indicates that all the work has been about securing oil – at whatever cost is necessary – and none of it has been about the UK citizen who has been wrongly jailed for nearly six years.

And the fact that Johnson is still groping for credit tells us he is a despicable excuse for a human being.

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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

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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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

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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