Nazanin: We’ll keep singing until you’re free

With one week to go until Nazanin’s five year sentence comes to an end, Nazanin’s supporters are doing everything we can to amplify our voices across the world to help ensure the UK government is doing all that it can to bring her home.   

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is now well-known across the world as the British-Iranian mother who has been wrongly detained in Iran on false charges for almost 5 years. Her sentence comes to an end on 7th March and she should be flying home to her husband Richard and daughter Gabriella on the 8th. But as yet there has been no confirmation from the Iranian government of the details of her release and at this point Richard is holding out little hope. As part of the public countdown to Nazanin’s release date, the best way I can express my support is through the lyrics of a song I wrote for Nazanin and Richard during their hunger strike in 2019: 

Song for Nazanin

     Your pain we cannot know     
 As you look up to the skies
       And your mind goes where it goes       
 In the long and lonely nights
    But many people around the world    
Are joined in solidarity
And we’ll keep singing
We’ll keep singing
Until you’re free
  
 There’s a light on in a window
 On a dark and stormy night
 We’re standing up for justice 
 And we won’t give up the fight
 So hear our voices singing
 In spirit with you, we will remain
          Until you’re free, until you’re free          
 Safe home again
  
 For all who are unfree   
 Imprisoned without fair trial
 Robbed of so many things     
 So much laughter, so many smiles
 But we won’t forget your pain    
 And we join in solidarity
 And we’ll keep singing
 We’ll keep singing
 Until you’re free   
  
 There’s a light on in a window
 On a dark and stormy night
 We’re standing up for justice 
 And we won’t give up the fight
 So hear our voices singing
 In spirit with you, we will remain
           Until you’re free, until you’re free          
 Safe home again
  
 
Copyright@wendymartineaumusic 

My friend Polly Shepperdson played the just-finished song to Richard who was camped outside the Iranian Embassy in London. It formed one gesture amongst the many heart-felt cards and flowers and the chain of care through which thousands showed their solidarity with Nazanin and Richard during their hunger strike. Within a couple of weeks, Polly and I had gathered together a big group of friends and local choir members to do a live recording of the song at a church in Nailsea, under the name Solidarity Sisters:

Our singing for Nazanin was covered by the BBC and is now being used as the background in a series of poignant recordings of Nazanin’s letters and poems released by Howell Productions in the countdown to Nazanin’s release date:

It is truly impossible to imagine what this family is going through right now. As a mother, thinking of little Gabriella waiting for her mummy to come home, and the pain Nazanin must feel being separated from her child, resonates with my whole being. She should have just one more week to hold on, but after the ups and downs that Nazanin and her family have faced in the past five years, this appears to be the most precarious of times. The Free Nazanin campaign and Amnesty International are leading the countdown to what should be a day of unimaginable relief and celebration for Nazanin and her family, who have suffered far too much injustice already. As the world waits to see if the Iranian government will allow Nazanin to come home, let’s join together to will her release with our whole hearts: 

In spirit with you, Nazanin, Richard and Gabriella, we will remain. Until she’s free, safe home again.