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Family marks 2,000 days since British woman jailed in Iran first arrested

Richard Ratcliffe, the husband of imprisoned British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and their seven year old daughter Gabriella pose for the media backdropped by the scaffolded Houses of Parliament and the Elizabeth Tower, known as Big Ben, in Parliament Square, London, to mark the 2,000 days she has been detained in Iran, Thursday, September 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Richard Ratcliffe, the husband of imprisoned British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and their seven year old daughter Gabriella pose for the media backdropped by the scaffolded Houses of Parliament and the Elizabeth Tower, known as Big Ben, in Parliament Square, London, to mark the 2,000 days she has been detained in Iran, Thursday, September 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

LONDON — The husband of detained UK charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe appeals to the British government to be brave in its dealings with Iran as the family marked 2,000 days since her arrest there.

Richard Ratcliffe and the couple’s 7-year-old daughter Gabriella stand on top of a snakes and ladders game board in Parliament Square, symbolizing the dilemma of being caught between two governments. Zaghari-Racliffe is one of several people with British or dual-British nationality now being held there.

“It’s 2,000 days of ups and downs and twists and turns and false dawns, and snakes and ladders seemed to encapsulate that because we’re in the middle of a game between two governments, we’re just a bargaining chip in it,” he says.

The Foreign Office insists that the case is a priority for Liz Truss, who recently took over as foreign secretary. She raised the case before her Iranian counterpart yesterday.

“The government needs to be brave and just start doing things that will cause a rethink amongst those in charge of Iran’s hostage-taking action,” Ratcliffe says.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe was sentenced to five years in jail after being convicted of plotting to overthrow Iran’s government, a charge that she, her supporters and rights groups vigorously deny. She was taken into custody at the airport after visiting her family in 2016 in Tehran. At the time, she was working for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of the news agency.

In May, Zaghari-Ratcliffe was sentenced to an additional year in prison on charges of spreading “propaganda against the system” for having participated in a protest outside the Iranian Embassy in London in 2009.

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