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Pneumonia-hit Emma Thompson leads march for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Oscar winner urges Boris Johnson to 'get on a plane' and help free locked up charity worker

25 November, 2017 — By Tom Foot

OSCAR winner Emma Thompson fought back against a bout of pneumonia to lead a demonstration calling for the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the West Hampstead charity worker locked up in Iran on vague spy charges.

As the press descended on West End Green this morning (Saturday) for a campaign which has worldwide media attention, Ms Thompson was so stricken by illness that she had to whisper her speech into the ear of her husband, actor Greg Wise, who then shouted it out to the crowd of demonstrators.

She said: “We are a net of love for Nazanin and her family. This is what we human beings do best, in stark contrast to the bunch of angry molecules thumping around in Westminster. If I can get out of bed with pneumonia to support a horribly abused member of our community,  then our foreign secretary can get on a plane.”

Emma Thompson, in hat, whispers into Greg Wise’s ear

More than 100 protesters chanted for Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s release, including her husband Richard and Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq – with her baby Azalea. There were demands for the family to be reunited for Christmas.

The 38-year-old has been sentence to five years in prison in Tehran and there have been growing concerns about her physical and mental station. She was held nearly 20 months ago on her way back from a family holiday, and was split up from her daughter Gabriella who is staying with her grandparents.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with her husband Richard 

She denies Iranian claims that she was involved in a ‘soft coup’ of the government there. Her case was said to have been made more difficult when foreign secretary Boris Johnson told a parliamentary committee earlier this month that she had been training journalists.

Ms Siddiq said: “She was just on holiday with her daughter. We just want to bring our West Hampstead resident home before Christmas.”

Campaigners today (Saturday) marched to Islamic centre in Maida Vale to hand in a petition calling for her release.

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