Iran protests re-adjusting to life back in UK after I was imprisoned for six years ‘very hard’, says Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe
- Protests in Iran erupted last year following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini
- As many as 19,000 protesters have been arrested during the unrest, reports say
- Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe feels Iran’s unrest is no longer getting attention
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has said re-adjusting to life back in the UK after six years imprisoned in Iran was ‘very hard’, as her story was kept ‘fresh on a daily basis’ by Iranian unrest.
Protests in Iran erupted in September last year following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody, after she was arrested for wearing her hijab too loosely. As many as 19,000 protesters have been arrested and more than 500 killed during the unrest, according to reports.
Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 45, pictured, who returned to the UK in March last year, said: ‘Early on when I was released, the uprising in Iran happened… since then I went through stories of many other people who were arrested and then their stories came out.
‘I resonated very much with what they have gone through. My story was suddenly so fresh on a daily basis and I couldn’t get myself out of it – it was very hard.
‘I think settling down was more complicated and difficult than what I was expecting because of what is happening.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe (pictured) she feels the continued unrest in Iran is no longer getting the attention it deserves from governments outside of the country
‘But I can’t complain –I’m free and I’m out, whereas many of my friends are still in prison.’
She also said that she feels the continued unrest in Iran is no longer getting the attention it deserves from governments outside of the country. ‘There was a lot of momentum but then, of course, the world moves on,’ she said.
Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband Richard Ratcliffe also commented on a report on the Foreign Office’s handling of hostage diplomacy – including how the department managed his wife’s case – saying it had a lot of ‘important’ findings as he criticised the Government’s ‘head-in-the-sand’ approach.
The report, published in April, condemned its handling of cases such as Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s and that of British-Iranian dual national Anoosheh Ashoori, who was released alongside Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe after almost three years in Iranian jail.
Mr Ratcliffe said: ‘At the moment, cases like Nazanin’s are reasonably rare… but they’re growing and that growth is something that the Government is not really dealing with.
‘The head-in-the-sand, “let’s hope we keep this at a low level” [approach]… doesn’t work.’