Ealing Amnesty Group continued their campaign last Saturday for a British-Iranian charity worker who is being held prisoner in Iran.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 38, who was sentenced to five years in prison on the grounds of national security as she returned to the UK with her baby daughter last April, lost an appeal earlier this year.
After her detention, the project manager for the Thompson Reuters Foundation was taken to solitary confinement and her two-year-old daughter Gabriella is now left in Iran with her grandparents, having had her passport confiscated.
Ealing Amnesty called on residents on March 11 to sign a government petition at the group’s stand on Melbourne Avenue, and Ealing Amnesty chair Catherine Perez Phillips said: “It’s a very distressing case, but I think that the case resonated with a lot of people.
“The public can understand the pain that Nazanin must be experiencing being separated from her daughter and family and the injustice of the case as well.”
Held in collaboration with International Women’s Day earlier this month, Ms Perez Phillips said the group particularly wanted to focus on a female prisoner of conscience.
Ms Perez Phillips said: “We hope to keep Nazanin’s case in the public eye and make sure it remains a high-profile case and that the British government continues to exert positive pressure on Iran to release her.
“She’s a British citizen, and she has her child who is a British citizen, so the UK government have a responsibility to them both.
“There is no evidence that any of the work that she did as a project manager for Thompson Reuters or anything through her charity work had any connection with Iran.”
In addition to allegations that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was trying to overthrow the regime, Iranian authorities have alleged she worked for BBC Farsi and accused her husband Richard of being a spy, accusations which Mr Ratcliffe refutes.
The petition signatures collected on Saturday will contribute towards Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s change.org petition, which has since gathered 888,445 signatures and will be delivered to the British government in a bid for the mother’s release.
Ms Perez Phillips said: “The campaigning is about keeping the case in the public consciousness and putting pressure on the UK government to then put pressure on the Iranian government.
“That fact that she has not had any fair trial and the Iranians are accusing her of being a spy when there is zero evidence of her being one is unfair.
“The work that she did for the Thompson Reuters charitable foundation had no connection with Iran at all, so it is very hard to know why they are accusing her of this.”
A vigil was held in Cardiff on March 19 in aid of Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s case, with local activists and Amnesty groups present to show their solidarity.
Details about Ealing Amnesty can be found on their Facebook or their www.amnesty.org.uk Ealing page.