Richard Ratcliffe is the husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British-Iranian charity worker who was arrested while on holiday in Iran with her 22-month-old daughter Gabriella, and has now been imprisoned in Iran for almost 3 years. Nazanin is currently serving a 5-year sentence for undisclosed security charges following a secret trial, and had a second case opened against her blamed on the former UK Foreign Secretary. Nazanin is one of a number of foreign and dual nationals arbitrarily arrested by the Iranian security services for use as leverage in recent years.
Richard has led the campaign to Free Nazanin, including:
- Establishing the largest UK online petition on Change.org (with over 2 million supporters) calling for the UK government to ensure her release;
- Receiving a number of rulings or statements from the UN that her sentence is arbitrary or that her treatment may amount to torture and calls for her release; and
- Asking the UK government to invoke diplomatic protection in her case – the first time this has been done by the UK for an individual in over 100 years.
Nonetheless, she remains in prison.
Richard is currently working with families of other foreign and dual nationals from Europe and North America who are similarly arbitrarily detained and held as leverage to build international recognition and pressure to end this phenomenon – for the good of those outside and inside Iran.
In his day job, Richard is an accountant, and lives in London.