Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 June 2019

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's daughter has lost ability to speak English

Gabriella has not seen Richard Ratcliffe in more than two years

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been in prison in Tehran for more than two years on sedition charges. AFP / Free Nazanin campaign
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been in prison in Tehran for more than two years on sedition charges. AFP / Free Nazanin campaign

The daughter of detained British-Iranian woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has lost the ability to speak English after more than two years living in Iran.

Gabriella Zaghari-Ratcliffe is currently being raised by her maternal grandparents in Iran and is only able to visit her mother in prison twice a week.

She has been unable to see her father since 2016 and has largely lost the ability to speak English, the Times reported. She communicates with Richard Ratcliffe via video calling, using a family member to translate between them.

"Tell him that I love him and I hope he loves me,” the four-year-old girl told the Times newspaper from Tehran.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is currently serving a five-year sentence after being accused of spying, a charge she and her family deny.

A heart-rending comment made by Gabriella on her mother’s case shows she is aware of the complications surrounding her mother’s future.

Seemingly referring to Iranian prosecutors’ claims that her mother’s freedom is linked to British debt repayments for a cancelled arms deal, she said, “I want to fly to London and get the money and bring it back so Mummy can be free.”

Gabriella described her plight to classmates at her Iranian nursery. “I don’t have any family. My mummy is in prison, my daddy is in London,” she is reported to have said.

Gabriella was visited by British foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt in November 2018, who took her gifts made by his own four-year-old.

Updated: February 18, 2019 05:04 PM

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