Mother jailed in Iran faced with 'cruel' choice over her daughter

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was sentenced to five years in prison

Mother jailed in Iran faced with 'cruel' choice over her daughter

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe (right) with her husband and daughter | Image: change.org

A British-Iranian mother jailed in Iran has been told she must choose between keeping her two-year-old daughter with her in prison or completely giving up her right to see her.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted of "secret charges" while on holiday in Iran.

Her husband Richard Ratcliffe said she had been told she must choose between having her child stay with her in prison for up to three days a week, or she must sign a document saying she does not want the "right to be with her young daughter".

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was accused of plotting to overthrow the Iranian regime, told her husband both options were unacceptable.

Amnesty International said Evin Prison in Tehran had imposed the choice to try and counter the negative publicity caused by the 37-year-old being separated from her toddler.

Charity worker Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, from London, was arrested at Tehran Airport on April 3rd with her daughter Gabriella.

The toddler is currently cared for by her grandparents in Tehran.

"This is yet another turn of the screw for Nazanin," said Kathy Voss from Amnesty.

"What kind of refined cruelty is it that would involve presenting a mother with a 'choice' to either jail her own daughter or give her up entirely?

"The Iranian authorities should release Nazanin and end this cruel charade of justice immediately.

"Meanwhile, up until she's released, Nazanin should be allowed extended contact with her daughter."

The human rights group is calling for urgent action from the public.

Meanshile her husband has also set up a petition, in which he says his wife "has not been allowed to access a lawyer or her daughter.

"She has not been able to call out of the country to speak to me, her British husband, and the Red Cross have not been able to make contact."

The UK Foreign Office has said it is deeply concerned about the case.