We are Amnesty International UK. We work to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.
In October 1960 a young barrister got on the London Underground, opened his paper and read a short article about a couple of students in Portugal who had been imprisoned for seven years after raising their glasses in a toast to freedom.
Sounds uneventful, but this was to become one of the most significant moments in the global movement for human rights. That barrister was called Peter Benenson, and his outrage at the imprisonment of the two men led to the birth of Amnesty International.
Now, over 50 years and a Nobel Peace Prize later, we continue to campaign for justice wherever it has been denied. We protect people, defending their right to freedom, to truth, and to dignity. We do this by investigating and exposing abuses where they happen. By galvanising our global movement of seven million people to intervene where individuals are at risk and by educating future generations so that one day the dream of human rights for all becomes a reality.
One of the cases we’re working on at the moment is that of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe
Nazanin is a 42 year old British-Iranian mother, who is being arbitrarily detained in Iran.
In March 2016, Nazanin took then one year old Gabriella to visit Nazanin's parents in Tehran for the Iranian New Year. As she and Gabriella were about to board a plane back to the UK, Nazanin was stopped and arrested without an explanation. Gabriella was separated from her mother and handed over to her grandparents while their documents were confiscated.
Nazanin was placed in solitary confinement for a total of 8.5 months. She was denied access to her lawyer and was only allowed limited contact with her family.
In September 2016, after a grossly unfair trial, Nazanin was sentenced to five years in prison on a trumped up national security charge and the evidence used against her was kept secret.
In Spring 2020, Nazanin was released on furlough (temporary prison leave) and is currently staying with her parents in Tehran where her movements are limited and she is watched. In September, she was again taken to court and told she would face another arbitrary charge of “spreading propaganda against the system”. A trial date was set for the following weekend but this was postponed at short notice.
On 7th March - the official end of her sentence - Nazanin's ankle tag was removed and her movements restricted. However she faces a second charge and still isn’t free to return home to her husband and daughter. We will continue to campaign until Nazanin is free.
You can stay up-to-date with Nazanin’s case on our website. Nazanin isn’t the only case we’re working on in Iran at the moment. We are also campaigning for Anoosheh, another UK/Iranian dual national being held in Iran.
Amnesty International is a
registered charity in England and Wales.
Charity number 1051681.