'Naz Don't Cry': Christmas single released to support 'Iran hostage' Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

'Naz Don't Cry': Christmas single released to support 'Iran hostage' Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe
3 min read
15 December, 2021
British band The Christians have reworked their 1991 song 'Man Don't Cry' into a new Christmas single to support detainee Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.
'It's a lovely song,' said Nazanin's husband, Richard Ratcliffe [source: Getty]

The family of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, an aid worker detained in Iran, have joined forces with British pop group The Christians to drop a Christmas single in support of her release.

Richard Ratcliffe has been campaigning for the release of his wife, Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was jailed by Iran in April 2016 accused of spying, charges which her family, supporters, and human rights groups strongly deny. 

The song - Naz Don’t Cry - is a rework of the Liverpool group's 1991 single Man Don't Cry, released in aid of British journalist and writer John McCarthy, who was held hostage in Lebanon for more than five years. 

The Christians decided to record the single after seeing Richard's 21-day hunger strike outside the UK Foreign Office to lobby the British government to take firmer action towards securing Nazanin's release. 

"We only hope she knows that there are people here who care…the song is just to deliver the simple message that we are all still standing shoulder to should with Nazanin, her devoted husband Richard and beautiful daughter Gabriella," said singer Gary Christian. 

"It's absolutely desperate that after all these years she still hasn’t been released back to her family…if only this song could help in some tiny way." 

Richard and his seven-year-old daughter Gabriella were invited to Liverpool to record with the 80s soul band. They feature in the song's moving video - with the seven-year-old seen playing the drums and guitar. 

"It's a lovely song," said Richard.  "It's a nice uplifting song. It's a song that says don't be sad, we're still thinking of you, we're still battling for you, your husband’s still going, there will be tomorrow."

Proceeds from the record will go to REDRESS, which has undertaken legal work in Nazanin's case since 2016. 

The British charity worker was detained more than five and a half years ago while on a family holiday with then 22-month-old Gabriella. 

Her release has been linked to a £400 million historic unpaid debt owed by the UK to Iran. It has been suggested by Iran watchers that Nazanin is being held "hostage" by Tehran in return for concessions from the UK.

This debt has also been connected to the release of other British citizens in Iran, such as Anoosheh Ashoori. 

The Iran ambassador to the UK told the BBC’s Chief International Correspondent Lyse Doucet that there had been an agreement related to the debt between the UK and Iran in July, "but it was not implemented". 

Doucet said the deal was "scuppered by the US" on Tuesday, adding "[it] could have made a difference in the release of #NazaninZaghariRatcliffe #AnooshehAshari & Others…". 

When asked about the present situation by Doucet, the Iran ambassador said "we are close" to resolving the dispute.