The five-year-old daughter of the imprisoned British-Iranian woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has returned to the UK.
Gabriella was living with her grandparents in Tehran and visiting her mother in prison in an attempt to minimise the trauma inflicted upon the family, while her father, Richard Ratcliffe, campaigned for his wife’s release. She was arrested three-and-a-half years ago on spying charges, which she denies.
It was decided that Gabriella would come back home to the UK so she could start school, and Ratcliffe expressed his hope that one homecoming would “unlock” another.
“Gabriella came back to us late at night, a bit uncertain seeing those she only remembered from the phone,” Ratcliffe said. “Now she is peacefully sleeping next to me. And I am just watching.
“It has been a long journey to have her home, with bumps right until the end – and I am grateful to all those at the British embassy and Iranian MFA [foreign ministry] who helped smooth all those last blockages.”
He added: “Of course, the job is not yet done until Nazanin is home. It was a hard goodbye for Nazanin and all her family. But let us hope this homecoming unlocks another.”
Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s MP, Tulip Siddiq, tweeted that although Gabriella had returned home, the fight to release her mother from prison would continue. Read more