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Greenham church leads global vigil for imprisoned Iranian-British woman

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St Mary's Church leads prayers for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

A Greenham church took part in a worldwide candle-lit vigil recently in support of a British-Iranian woman who remains in prison without charge in Tehran.

Charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, aged 37, who has connections to West Berkshire, was seized by security forces in the Iranian capital as she waited for a flight home with her husband Richard and daughter Gabriella in April.

No formal charges have been made and she is reportedly now in solitary confinement and under investigation for issues relating to “national security”.

A petition demanding she be release, set up by her husband, has since garnered nearly 800,000 signatures.

In June, churches across the country including at Greenham and in central London, held a candle-lit vigil for Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

The vigil was held on the same week as Laylat al-Qadr, a day in Ramadan on which it is believed that prayers will be answered.

Her husband Richard attended St Mary’s Church, Greenham, last month to thank the vicar, the Rev David McLeod, for taking part in the vigil and for the churches’ prayers and support.

Newbury MP Richard Benyon has since tabled written parliamentary questions to the Foreign Secretary asking if Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe is receiving full consular access and legal advice.

He said: “I am keen to support Nazanin’s friends in West Berkshire in this campaign.

“The improving relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Prime Minister’s recent intervention in this case offers the best hope for some time that a resolution may be found.”

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