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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe cuts her hair in a symbol of solidarity with Iranian protesters

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has filmed herself cutting her hair in a symbol of solidarity with Iranian protesters who have been demonstrating for nearly two weeks. 

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 44, a British-Iranian national, spent six years in jail in Iran after being arrested on spying charges, which she denied.

In a video she organised, the mother-of-one can be seen taking scissors to her hair, and cutting her locks. 

It follows protests around the world following the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody. The 22-year-old Kurdish woman was detained in Tehran by Iranian morality police who believed she was wearing her hijab too loosely. 

Since her death on September 16, women have been filmed cutting their hair, which activists say is an ancient Persian symbol of protest, and burning their hijabs. 

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has filmed herself cutting her hair in a symbol of solidarity with Iranian protesters

Mahsa Amini, 22, died in police custody after being detained in Tehran by Iranian morality police who believed she was wearing her hijab too loosely

Mahsa Amini, 22, died in police custody after being detained in Tehran by Iranian morality police who believed she was wearing her hijab too loosely

Some have been seen dancing near large bonfires to the applause of crowds that have chanted ‘zan, zendegi, azadi’ or ‘woman, life, freedom’. 

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe gave the footage of her cutting her hair while naming Mahsa Amini to BBC Persian.

She says at the end of the video: ‘For my mother, for my daughter, for the fear of solitary confinement, for the women of my country, for freedom,’ the BBC reported.

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe landed back on British soil in March, along with fellow dual national Anoosheh Ashoori, after the UK finally agreed to settle a long-standing debt to Iran.

The 44-year-old was detained on security charges in 2016 by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard at Imam Khomeini airport after a holiday to Iran during which she introduced her daughter to her parents.

She says at the end of the video: 'For my mother, for my daughter, for the fear of solitary confinement, for the women of my country, for freedom'

She says at the end of the video: ‘For my mother, for my daughter, for the fear of solitary confinement, for the women of my country, for freedom’

When she handed her daughter to her parents at Tehran Airport on March 17, 2016, Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe was still breastfeeding Gabriella (above) who was just 22-months-old. The next time they would see each other Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe was being held as a political prisoner in solitary confinement in Evin prison

When she handed her daughter to her parents at Tehran Airport on March 17, 2016, Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe was still breastfeeding Gabriella (above) who was just 22-months-old. The next time they would see each other Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe was being held as a political prisoner in solitary confinement in Evin prison

She was accused of plotting to overthrow the Iranian government, and denied spying charges.

Her release came after the UK agreed to settle a historic £400 million debt dating to the 1970s after five years in Iranian jail on propaganda charges.

Both countries have said the fine and the release of Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe are issues that should not be linked.

Ms Amini was arrested in Tehran on September 13, by Iran’s morality police for allegedly breaching the rules that mandate tightly-fitted hijab head coverings and which ban, among other things, ripped jeans and brightly coloured clothes. 

An Iranian female protester chants slogans as she raises a pair of scissors to cut her hair during a rally outside the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Seoul

An Iranian female protester chants slogans as she raises a pair of scissors to cut her hair during a rally outside the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Seoul

The protester raises her hands which clutch her chopped hair as she stands outside the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Seoul

The protester raises her hands which clutch her chopped hair as she stands outside the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Seoul

An Iranian woman holds her cut hair in Venice, Italy as a protest against the death of Mahsa Amini

An Iranian woman holds her cut hair in Venice, Italy as a protest against the death of Mahsa Amini

Protesters cut their hair as an act of solidarity with women in Iran outside Vancouver Art Gallery, during a solidarity protest for Mahsa Amini

Protesters cut their hair as an act of solidarity with women in Iran outside Vancouver Art Gallery, during a solidarity protest for Mahsa Amini

A woman holds her cut hair in her clenched fist as almost 2,000 people from the Iranian community in Milan gathered in protest

A woman holds her cut hair in her clenched fist as almost 2,000 people from the Iranian community in Milan gathered in protest

A woman in Milan holds her cut hair above her head in a sign of protest

A woman in Milan holds her cut hair above her head in a sign of protest 

Women around the world have rallied in solidarity protests (protests in front of Iranian embassy in Madrid)

Women around the world have rallied in solidarity protests (protests in front of Iranian embassy in Madrid)

The police said she died of a heart attack and was not mistreated, but her family has cast doubt on that account. 

Her cousin, Erfan Mortezaei, has said that on the day she was arrested, she was forced into a police van and taken to the station where she was ‘tortured’.

‘There is a report from Kasra hospital [in Tehran] that says effectively by the time she reached the hospital she was already dead from a medical point of view,’ he told Sky News.

‘She suffered a concussion from a blow to the head.’   

Following her death, protests have spread to more than 80 towns and cities in Iran.

State media has reported 41 deaths as a result of the demonstrations however Norwegian-based organisation, Iran Human Rights, reports that Iranian security forces have killed at least 76 protesters.

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe with her husband Richard and daughter Gabriella pictured outside 10 Downing Street on May 13, 2022

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe with her husband Richard and daughter Gabriella pictured outside 10 Downing Street on May 13, 2022

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori arriving at Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, on March 17

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori arriving at Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, on March 17

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