Family of Nazanin welcomes European Parliament calls for justice for jailed EU-Iranian dual nationals

The family of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British mother detained in Iran, has welcomed today’s European Parliament resolution expressing solidarity with EU-Iranian dual citizens jailed in Iran.

The resolution calls for the Iranian judiciary to respect the principles of a fair trial and due process, including access to legal counsel, consular visits and visits by the UN and humanitarian organisations, and full access to medical treatment and healthcare services. All human rights defenders imprisoned in Iran should be released immediately as well as all those arbitrarily detained, and all acts of intimidation against them stopped, including the procuring of forced confessions made as a result of torture, it adds.

The resolution also calls on the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the Commission to establish an internal task force in support of EU nationals who are facing the death penalty or manifestly unfair trials in third countries, and calls on the Iranian authorities to cooperate with the embassies of EU countries in Tehran to establish a list of EU-Iranian dual nationals currently detained in Iranian prisons, and to closely monitor each case.

Wajid Khan MEP, member of the European Parliament foreign affairs and human rights committees, told the European Parliament:

“Many dual nationals are currently detained in Iran without due process, including the British nationals Abbas Edalat and Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. All these cases have their heart-breaking details, I want to specifically mention the case of Nazanin.

“Nazanin took her toddler to Iran to celebrate Nowruz with family in 2016. She was convicted of plotting to overthrow the Iranian government and now faces new, vague charges. Nazanin is innocent and she is missing her daughter’s childhood – she is only allowed to see her for 90 minutes a week.

“I have been in touch with her family and they appreciate the European Parliament’s decision to call for the release and fair treatment of EU-Iranian dual nationals. While we debate these arrests of dual nationals, we must also highlight that these actions are part of a wider crackdown on freedom of assembly in Iran.

“I urge the EEAS and national governments to firmly and collectively engage their Iranian counterparts, echoing the message of this resolution that we debate today. They must call for the release of imprisoned human rights defenders and those arbitrarily detained at every occasion, as a strategic priority.

“We have to do everything we can to bring Nazanin and her daughter home.”

Clare Moody MEP, member of the European Parliament foreign affairs committee, added:

“Today’s resolution on Iran demonstrates that however hard we are to work to preserve the Iran nuclear deal, the European Parliament will also always prioritise human rights. Iran continues to imprison British-Iranian citizens in Iran without access to a fair trial and often forces them to make confessions following torture and inhumane treatment.

“Regardless of what happens to the Iran nuclear deal, the human rights dialogue that was set up after the deal was signed must continue in order for the EU to pressure Iran to improve the situation of human rights in the country both for those Iranians with British citizenship and those without.”