Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe Praised For ‘Speaking Her Mind’ After ‘Vile’ Twitter Attacks

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been praised for “speaking her mind” after some “vile” Twitter attacks were launched following her criticism of the government.

On Monday, the charity worker was outspoken about Conservative ministers for taking six years to secure her release from prison in Iran.

The mother-of-one said she was let down by successive foreign secretaries before she was finally freed last week.

Speaking at a press conference in the House of Commons, Zaghari-Ratcliffe said she disagreed with her husband, Richard, who had thanked the government for finally reaching a deal over a £400 million debt owed to Iran by the UK over an order for Chieftain tanks more than 40 years ago.

The British-Iranian said there had been five different foreign secretaries over the course of her six years in jail.

“That is unprecedented given the politics of the UK,” she said. “I love you Richard, respect whatever you believe, but I was told many, many times that ‘Oh we’re going to get you home’. That never happened.”

She said this resulted in her finding it difficult to place trust in them, adding: “How many foreign secretaries does it take for someone to come home? Five?

“What’s happened now should have happened six years ago.”

Following the press conference, the word “ungrateful” trended on Twitter – which appears to have largely been driven by anonymous accounts.

But David Bannerman, a former Conservative MEP for the East of England, and a one-time deputy leader of the UK Independence Party, was among the verified Twitter users to weigh in. He wrote: “I do hope she’s not biting the hand that saved her. Does she bear no responsibility for being in a country with such a nasty regime?”

He also retweeted an anonymous account which said: “The words you’re desperately searching for are ‘many thanks to the British government and taxpayers for paying the £400 million ransom…’”

Many negative tweets can be found in the replies to a post by Sky News which said: “Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has disagreed with her husband who thanked the foreign secretary for securing her release, saying that her release ‘should have happened six years ago’.’

But the attacks on Zaghari-Ratcliffe appeared to be far outstripped by those praising the 43-year-old.

Channel 4 News host Cathy Newman wrote: “Ridiculous (but sadly predictable) that people are cross with Nazanin for speaking her mind. She was plenty grateful for being released (and spent quite some time exhaustively thanking people) but justifiably angry that she lost six precious years in jail. Wouldn’t you be?”

Television presenter Gabby Logan said: “People (some men) really don’t like women speaking their truth. Tough.”

On April 3, 2016, the mother-of-one was detained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard at Imam Khomeini airport after a holiday visit to Iran where she showed her daughter Gabriella to her parents.

Gabriella, now 7, was just 22 months old when her mother was arrested on trumped up charges of plotting against the regime – which she has always denied.

The charity worker was sentenced to five years in the notorious Evin Prison and was detained in Iran ever since.

While Nazanin’s release appears now to have hinged on the repayment of the historic debt, the government long dismissed this was the case – despite husband Richard Ratcliffe telling ministers otherwise.

“Nazanin’s interrogators told her five or six months into her arrest that they were astonished that this had lasted so long,” Ratcliffe insisted.

Despite current foreign secretary Liz Truss latterly acknowledging the link, foreign office minister James Cleverly told the commons only in March last year that historic debts between the two countries are “unrelated” to Nazanin’s detention.



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