As an Iranian woman, the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian mother imprisoned in Iran in 2016, truly pains me.
Just as she served one sentence on trumped-up charges of spying, she is charged with more spurious crimes and imprisoned again. Her husband Richard is on hunger strike for the second time to try and get the British Government to act.
Unfortunately, this is a classic example of how the Iranian Government abuses women.
For many decades it has instigated state-wide abuse to keep women and activists silent. Nazanin is yet another victim, used as an international political pawn to blackmail the British into paying historical debt Iran says it is owed.
But what has this to do with Nazanin and her family?
She is a hostage being held to ransom!
I condemn the actions of the Iranian Government. This is what happens to women, to anyone, in Iran who is different, who wants a different life, who refuses to stay silent. They are imprisoned, tortured, executed, and the rest of the population is cowered into submission.
My heart goes out to Nazanin, her husband Richard and their young daughter, Gabriella.
Halaleh Taheri, MEWSo Executive Director