Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 30 May 2020

Japanese aid workers plead for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's release

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was once a translator for Japanese disaster relief workers in Iran

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been out of Tehran's Evin prison since March. Reuters
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been out of Tehran's Evin prison since March. Reuters

Japanese coronavirus aid workers are trying to help secure the release from Tehran of jailed British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe was previously a translator for Japanese disaster relief workers in Iran after the 2003 Bam earthquake.

Ten of the workers, from the Japanese Disaster Emergency Relief and Humanitarian Medical Assistance, sent a letter to the Iranian ambassador in Tokyo, The Guardian reported.

“Nazanin’s gentle and warm personality and devotion for the victims of Bam created a fantastic teamwork between Japanese team members and Iranians," they wrote.

'Arrest broke our hearts'

“We all loved her and the colour of our friendship has not faded at all since then. Because Nazanin opened the door for us to Iran, we love Iran.

“We feel emotionally attached to Iran and we are so much concerned with whatever happened in Iran during the past 16 years.

"The news of Nazanin’s detention was the worst news for us. Her arrest broke our hearts.”

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been detained since April 2016 after a trip with her young daughter to visit her Iranian parents. She was jailed for five years on spying charges.

She was temporarily released in March when Iran let out 85,000 prisoners as part of its measures to fight the coronavirus.

The workers said their love was the country was “purely because we love all the Iranians we met during our mission, including Nazanin".

“We promise that we will continue to support Iran and Iranians in any way possible at any time," they wrote.

"We are looking forward to seeing Nazanin reunited with her family and loved ones.”

Updated: April 8, 2020 01:26 AM

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