March 9, 2022

SITREP Pod: Free Nahid, German Hostage in Iran | Pod Hostage Diplomacy

SITREP Pod: Free Nahid, German Hostage in Iran | Pod Hostage Diplomacy

On 16 October 2020, 66 year old German citizen Nahid Taghavi decided to go for a walk near her apartment in Tehran. It was a week after she had surgery and Nahid had high blood pressure. Within moments, she was surrounded by 12 armed men from the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps also known as the IRGC. She was arrested and taken to the notorious Evin prison where she remains to this day.

The European Parliament has passed a resolution calling on Iran to drop all charges against Nahid Taghavi. Members of the German Bundestag from multiple political parties have stated that Nahid is unjustly detained and called for her release. Amnesty International has called Nahid Taghavi a prisoner of conscience. Nahid’s daughter believes she is being used as a bargaining chip by the IRGC to extract concessions from the German government. This would be hostage diplomacy.

We had the honour of interviewing Nahid’s daughter, Mariam Claren in October 2021. Since then there have been significant developments around the JCPOA Iran nuclear deal negotiations in Vienna where talks on the release of foreign nationals wrongfully imprisoned in Iran are taking place at the same time. The families of these innocent individuals are worried that their loved ones may be left behind. 

On this episode, we speak once again to Mariam Claren. She talks about the possibility of her mother being released as part of the JCPOA deal, the possibility of her mother being left behind and how she’s been coping with this constant trauma. Mariam also tells us what the German government, the European Union, journalists and the public can do to help free Nahid Taghavi.

If you prefer, you can watch the video version of this interview on YouTube

For more information on Nahid Taghavi, please check out the following:

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Transcript

SITREP Pod: Free Nahid, German hostage in Iran | Pod Hostage Diplomacy

SPEAKERS

Daren Nair, Mariam Claren

 

Daren Nair  00:05

Welcome to Pod Hostage Diplomacy. We work to free hostages and the unjustly detained around the world. Together with their families, we share their stories every week, and let you know how you can help bring them home. I'm Daren Nair, and I've had the honour of campaigning with many of these families for years. These are some of the most courageous and resilient people among us. People who have never given up hope, people who will never stop working to reunite their families. And we will be right there by their side until their loved ones are back home. Thank you for joining us. And now, let's meet this week's guest. Welcome to Pod Hostage Diplomacy. Last week marked 500 days since Nahid Taghavi, an innocent 67-year-old German citizen, has been held hostage in Iran by the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, also known as the IRGC. Shortly after Nahid's arrest on 16th October 2020, the German government issued an update to their travel advisory to Iran, warning German citizens who also hold Iranian nationality against travelling to Iran. The following are quotes from that update. "There have been several arrests of German-Iranian dual nationals in the past, including most recently in October 2020, often without comprehensible reasons. Further detentions of people who also possess Iranian citizenship cannot be ruled out. Unecessary travel by people who are also Iranian nationals, is strongly discouraged." Members of the German Bundestag, which is the German parliament, from multiple political parties, have called on Iran to release Nahid immediately. Amnesty International has called Nahid Taghavi a prisoner of conscience. Amnesty stated that Nahid is arbitrarily detained, she has health issues and called for her immediate and unconditional release. Iran has a long history of arresting innocent foreign and dual nationals on trumped up charges, putting them through sham trials and sentencing them to years in prison. The Iranian regime do this to use these innocent people as bargaining chips to extract concessions from their home country. In Nahid's case, this is Germany. This unacceptable practice is state-sponsored hostage-taking, also known as hostage diplomacy. In October last year, we had the honour of interviewing Nahid's daughter, Mariam Claren, who lives in Cologne, Germany. She walked us through what happened to her mother and told us what people can do to help. If you haven't listened to that episode, please do check it out wherever you get your podcasts, or on our website podhostagediplomacy.com. We always tell the families we interview that we will be campaigning right by their side until their loved ones come back home. And we mean it. So, we'll keep you up to date with their campaigns through Sitrep pods like this one, or breaking news pods. We're joined today once again by Nahid's daughter, Mariam Claren. I'm sorry, it couldn't be under better circumstances. Thank you for joining us.

 

Mariam Claren  03:14

Thank you for having me, Daren, and inviting me again.

 

Daren Nair  03:17

You're welcome. Now, for our listeners who haven't listened to our previous episode, can you please give them a summary of what happened to your mother?

 

Mariam Claren  03:24

Sure. My mom, Nahid Taghavi is 67-years-old, a retired architect. And when she was 66-years-old, she was arrested by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Tehran. This is the capital city of Iran. The IRGC is something like the deep state in Iran. They control most of the political intelligence wings, and economy and military, and so on. And my mom is a dual national, she's a German citizen. And it is important to know that you are as an original Iranian citizen, you are not allowed to remove your Iranian citizenship. So automatically, everybody who has dual citizenship, they have to have the Iranian citizenship. So, you cannot say I'm only a German citizen, and this is something the Iranian government is playing with, because they say "we don't recognise dual citizenship." They arrest these people and then they use them as bargaining chips against the other country, in our case, the German country. So, it's really clear that they do very much recognise the second citizenship. That's something I wanted to mention. And yes, my mom was travelling to Iran since many years because she was retired. Her family lives there. And it... She went to Iran in late 2019, and to come back in Spring 2020. Then was the Coronavirus outbreak, and we decided that she should stay there with her family because we were in lockdown in Germany, and she decided to come in Autumn back to Germany, and she was arrested on October 16 2020, in the streets of Tehran, when she was taking a walk. And 12 men came, they started screaming at her. She saw that they want to kidnap her and, in reality, it was a kidnapping, and told her, "if you are going to scream, we are going to kill you. And we are going to say that you were an ISIS terrorist." So, very surreal situation, and she was arrested, and then she spent seven months in solitary confinement under the interrogation of the Revolutionary Guard Corps in an isolation section in notorious Evin Prison. After that, she was brought to court. She saw her lawyer the first time at her first court session, and there was another second court session. Both were very short, and then she was convicted to 10 years in prison for the trumped up charges: running an illegal group and propaganda against the state. And since then, she is being held in Evin's woman wing where political prisoners are being held. There are about 20-25 women. Most of them are prominent cases, lawyers, human rights activists, environmentalists, and she's... she was longtime the only dual national in this woman wing and about one month ago, Fariba Adelkhah, a French citizen, was brought back to prison after she was in house arrest. She's also a hostage. And... and now, Fariba Adelkhah and my mom are the two hostages in Evin's woman wing,

 

Daren Nair  04:55

Thank you for that. Yes, I interviewed Fariba's colleague, Sandrine Perrot, last month, and she spoke about what happened to Fariba. So, if our listeners want to find out more about Fariba Adelkhah, please do listen to that episode on podhostagediplomacy.com or wherever you get your podcasts. Now, since we last spoke five months ago, Mariam there have been some developments. Can you please tell us more?

 

Mariam Claren  07:43

Yes, there was a point in the last month where we thought that we could get a medical leave for her because, as I mentioned, she's 67. She has a lot of health issues, and prolonged solitary confinement also deteriorated her health. So, the doctor in Evin and a doctor in a hospital where they brought her said that she urgently needs back surgery. And that was the point where the authorities said, "okay, put bail and she can go out for medical leave." And unfortunately, my family put the bail, and it was a very high bail, and it's very usual that political prisoners can get medical leave or furlough, and you put bail, and in the case of my mom, the bail was about four times higher than the bail you have to put in normal cases. It was about 80,000 euros, and my family put the bail and, unfortunately, they don't let my mom go. That was really very stressing to us, because we were sure... Why do they say, "um, we... you can go out and put the bail," but they did not allow her, and that was one of the most crucial points where I understood that this is because she's a hostage, because you never let your hostage go. Why is she getting treated not like the others? She was the only one who caught COVID in Evin Prison and did not get medical leave. Or, right now, while we are talking, there is another outbreak, corona outbreak, in the woman wing. And we forced a lot that they get PCR tests from the prisoners. And my mom had her PCR test about six days ago. Yesterday... until yesterday, she did not get any results. That's really crazy, because everybody knows it don't take six days to get a PCR result. So, it is very clear that if Nahid Taghavi is positive, and, if then, the whole media campaign would begin again, because we want her to get medical leave like the others, this will have an effect on the JCPOA talks that are, right now, going on. So, these are the things me, my family, our lawyers, are struggling with, because our... we cannot go like in other cases where the lawyer can do some bureaucratic things where there is a medical commission who can say, "okay, this person needs house arrest, or surgery, or something like this." It always depends how Iranian government's talks with the German government is going on. So, we are in the middle of a dirty game between powers. And we are really used as pawns. And my... my 67-year-old mother is... is the victim of the whole game, and this... this is mental torture.

 

Daren Nair  11:11

I'm so sorry to hear that. So, you mentioned many things I just want to ask you some follow up questions on. Now, you mentioned the JCPOA Iran Nuclear Deal renegotiations are at their final stages. So, there are currently at least 17 publicly known foreign nationals held in Iran. These individuals are from the US, UK, Canada, France, Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, and Germany. The US Special Envoy for Iran, Robert Malley, has publicly stated that a deal with Iran is unlikely unless it also includes the release of American hostages currently held in Iran. So, there are four hostages from the United States held in Iran: Baquer Namazi, Siamak Namazi, Emad Shargi, and Morad Tahbaz. Now the question families of hostages from other countries have is, will a new deal also include the release of their loved ones, too? So, Mariam, as your mother is one of the German hostages, not the American ones, what are your thoughts?

 

Mariam Claren  12:08

First of all, let me say it very clear. Why should it be my mom's or my family's problem that there is a nuclear deal ongoing, and people are going to be negotiate in a deal between world powers and Iran? This is so cruel and so much torture for us. But this is another thing. Now we cannot change it. There is a nuclear deal going on, and everybody, as you said, knows. The media reported that the prisoners are going... the dual national prisoners, are going to be negotiate in this talks. And if we look back in 2015, where the first JCPOA.... JCPOA deal was signed, that was the point when Jason Rezaian, The Washington Post correspondent, who was held hostage in Iran was released. And I'm not sure; I think three other US prisoners were released at this point. So, the truth is something is going to happen after the deal is signed. And it seems that there is a deal going to be signed in the next days. So, of course, we are very, very nervous, because, as you mentioned, Mr. Malley said that there is not going to be a deal without the release of the US hostages. So, my question, as a German citizen, is if there is a deal, and you are going to sign it, and if the US hostages are going to be freed, what is your answer for us other families? Are you going to leave our family members behind? And I want to say it again. And at the first step, the world should put in red line on all these human rights abuses that Iran is doing not only to the hostages, or the other political prisoners, the people of Iran, the women, the students, the labour activists, and so on, and so on. But if you are turning a blind eye to it, at least you should free your own citizen who are being held hostage. And, as you mentioned at the beginning, this is state hostage diplomacy. So, we are not talking about pirates or ISIS, or al Qaeda or Taliban. Taliban is now a state, too, unfortunately. And we are talking about a government, and they are taking hostages, and they don't make a secret about it. Iran often said officially, if you pay the price, we are going to release these people. So, it's very clear, and I never heard the powers when negotiating the JCPOA and this is Germany, UK, France, US and the EU, okay, China and Russia. But this is another thing. I never heard them condemning together that we have this problems and there is no deal without the release of all of our people who are currently being held. So, if only these four US hostages are going to be released, I'm very happy for their families. And I know all cases, and especially the Namazis, I think it's seven years they are in prison. But what is going to be the answer of the German government to me? What is the answer to Fariba Adelkhah's family and Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, Anoosheh Ashoori, Morad Tahbaz, and Morad Tahbaz is an American citizen, too. So, maybe he would be free. So, if they are going to fail to secure the release of all hostages, I think this is... I don't know how... what to say I'm... it would be really, really shocking to us. And, of course, I will be ready to take my next steps. Because to be honest, of course, we are all watching to be... all eyes are on Vienna. And I'm very, very interested what is going to happen. But to be honest, to be honest, what I hear and what I see is, I don't think that the other hostages are going to be freed in the deal.

 

Daren Nair  16:42

I'm sorry to hear that. I hope that doesn't happen. Now, you mentioned Russia and China are also part of the JCPOA. I have no doubt they won't condemn Iran's hostage-taking, Iran's hostage diplomacy, because they also practice hostage diplomacy. I've interviewed the families of two Americans wrongfully imprisoned in Russia, Trevor Reed and Paul Whelan. I've also interviewed the family of American citizen, Kai Li, wrongfully imprisoned in China. So, I guess that's why they're not going to bring up hostage diplomacy during the JCPOA negotiations, because they are just as guilty. There are also reports. I mean, obviously, they're just reports, but they're reports that these renegotiations in Vienna may fail. That's not a certainty. It is a possibility. How do you think that's going to impact your mother?

 

Mariam Claren  17:38

That's a difficult question, because I think when the negotiation in Vienna are going to fail, a big window is going to be closed. The door is closed. I don't know what will be the next opportunity. I say it again, I even don't want them to negotiate or pay for my mother. In a good world, my mother should be freed because it's... she's wrongfully detained. But this is... this is not a love story. This is the reality. And in reality, I know that her release depends on negotiations with Germany. And, of course, I'm afraid because when the negotiations are going to fail, or even if they are going to sign the nuclear deal, but my mom is not included in the negotiation of the deal, what is going to be the next step? What will Germany do? And did they ever did something really important to secure her release? I don't know. Because the only answers we get as families, and it's not only the case of Nahid Taghavi, from our governments, is always the same. It's always... it's like a blueprint. "We leave no stone unturned. We mention the case of your mom in every talk we have with the Iranian authorities, we strongly condemn her detention, sorry, blah, blah, blah." We have no development, no positive development in the last one and a half years. And not only we have no development, she's even threatened worse than the other prisoners. So, what has to happen that the German government open his eyes and understand that they should not let Iran go away with this. And let me say it clear, Germany is the biggest business partner of Iran in Europe. I don't have the actual current statistic, but it's more than, I think, 40 or 50% of the business deals with Europe are with the Germany. So, there is diplomatic, political and economic pressure they can put on. They don't want to. I don't know.

 

Daren Nair  20:23

You mentioned the German government. So, previously, representatives from the German Embassy have not been able to visit your mother, because the Iranian authorities say they do not recognise your mother's German nationality. In their eyes, she is only Iranian. So, they have been blocking any attempts by the German Embassy to provide your mother consular support. Has that changed?

 

Mariam Claren  20:49

No, of course not. Um, the individuals in the German Embassy in Tehran, I really trust in them. And I'm really sure they are doing everything they can in their power, for example, they go often to the Evin prison, they bring medical stuff when needed, and they even go to both court sessions of my mom. They were not allowed to go into the courtroom, but they went there. They talked to the judge. I think this is something what the British government did not do in the case of the British citizens. So, I cannot say they are doing nothing, but it's not enough. Of course, no, they they never had access to my mom. They were never allowed to visit her or something like this. So, most of the informations they get is from me, so I give them once a week. I have a meeting with them, and I tell them, "okay, this happened, that happened. This is what my mom said," and... and so on. So, about the German Embassy, I'm sure they are doing what they can. If all the power is used, I don't know. They always give you the feeling that they are doing everything to secure her release. But as I said, I don't see any developments.

 

Daren Nair  22:13

Now, I've interviewed the families of many Americans wrongfully imprisoned overseas or held hostage overseas. Initially, what happens is, when someone gets taken or detained overseas, an American, their family gets referred to the Bureau of Consular Affairs, and only after the family or the government determine that this individual is wrongfully detained or a hostage, only then are they referred to the Special Unit, special team, that focuses on bringing home Americans wrongfully imprisoned or held hostage overseas. So, in the United States, it's called the US Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, or SPEHA, which is the acronym. And there's also a Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell that works to bring American hostages back home. A lot of it was as a result of the lack of appropriate support and coordination when hostages like James Foley, the journalist, were kidnapped and murdered by ISIS. So, the families of these hostages pushed the US government to provide better support to ensure they are better coordinated, and President Obama issued an order to make this happen. Now in Germany, first of all, do they acknowledge your mother is wrongfully imprisoned in Iran? 

 

Mariam Claren  23:34

No. No, there is no such a wording in the... in the German language. Especially they never mentioned anything about my mom's case in public. Of course, behind closed doors in our calls and meetings, they say she's wrongfully imprisoned and the charges against her are not under international law, correct, and so on. But the German government never mentioned my mama... mom's case in public, or condemned that she is imprisoned or that she's convicted to 10 years in prison. This is something that Germany never do about their own citizen, ironically, and they always do it about others wrongfully detained in other countries, but... or when, for example, Narges Mohammadi, a very famous human rights defender, she's imprisoned in Iran, the German government condemned her imprisonment, her detention, and that's very good that they did this, let me say it clear. But, for some reason, when it comes to their own citizens, they are more playing the quiet diplomacy role. I don't know. I asked them many times to say in public, do a press release, and say that they... they are concerned, that they condemn that Nahid Taghavi's wrongfully detained. But the government never did this. But a lot of members of the German parliament and other political people in... in Germany, but the government itself never mentioned my mom's case in public.

 

Daren Nair  25:32

So, at the moment, are you dealing with the Consular Affairs? So, is the German government treating this as a consular case?

 

Mariam Claren  25:39

Of course, yes.

 

Daren Nair  25:41

Okay. So, what is it the German government needs to do better? Obviously, you've mentioned a few things. Just before you answer that, since we last spoke, or at least when we last spoke, a new government just came into office. You had a new... new German Foreign Minister. It's been five months. What are your thoughts on this new German government? Are they giving you the same attention as the previous one? Are they better or worse?

 

Mariam Claren  26:07

The people in the foreign office who I spoke to are the same people, which I spoke to before the new government was built. And the two officers who are my case experts are really, really experts. And it's... it's really funny, because they became like friends to me. We talk every Thursday. And first of all, I ask him, "how are your kids doing?" And he asked me today, "how is your COVID going on?" So, it's very crazy. You get involved with people you never thought you would get involved to them... with them. And so, that did not change with the... with the new government. But my feeling and my instinct is our new foreign ministry, Annalena Baerbock, is a really well-known human right defender. I'm a big fan of her, let me say it clear, if... if... if there was not my mom's case, I'm... I'm sure I will always... I would always defend her. And I cannot give you a clear answer to this. What I know is the new government is built between three parties. It's the Social Democrats SPD, the Green Party, and the FDP, the Liberal Party of Germany. And in their coalition contract, which they signed to... this is something like the... what they're going to do in the next four years, and it's publicly, you can see this contract, it's about 170 pages, and there is a paragraph about Iran. And they say in this paragraph that they want Iran to come back to the JCPOA. They want Iran to stop threatening on Israel, and they want them to get a better human rights situation. And they want Iran to release all political prisoners. This is very new that the German government has such a important sentence in their contract. And this is something like an evidence to me. I always use this sentence in all my talks and all my lobby work, which I do, which I say, "look, you wrote it down in your own contract. So, what are you doing to secure the release...? Of course, I would be very happy if you could secure the release of all political prisoners. But what are you doing to secure the release of the German political prisoner, Nahid Taghavi, who is currently in prison?" So, my hopes are that they... they have some red lines, which the other government did not have. But, to be honest, it's a very difficult time because they're practically in government since December, then the JCPOA deal... a deal was all the January going on. And right now we are in the middle of a war with Russia and Ukraine. So, I'm not sure how much their attention is on... on this cases. But I'm hopeful it's... it's... it's a long run, you know, I always say it's... it's... it's a marathon. And... but there are some things they said and did, which makes me think maybe they are going to be better than the government before, and maybe I can catch them on this points. Yeah, this... these are my hopes, you know, I'm a human being, I live with hopes.

 

Daren Nair  30:11

I understand. Now the European Union has also passed resolutions calling on Iran to release EU nationals wrongfully imprisoned in Iran. I understand your mother is one of them.

 

Mariam Claren  30:25

Yes. She was mentioned in this resolution. 

 

Daren Nair  30:28

So, what else can the European Union do?

 

Mariam Claren  30:31

As I said, I think the European Union has a lot of power. First of all, all their business things they are doing with Iran. But on the other side, there are... My mom is not the only citizen of the European Union, who is imprisoned and... and we have the Swedish cases, the Austrian cases, the French cases, and the German cases. Unfortunately, the British cases are not included anymore in the European Union. So, I think they... they should at least build something like the Americans did, an special department about this issue, about the hostage-taking. First of all, they should acknowledge that this is hostage-taking. I even don't like the word being wrongfully detained or wrongfully imprisoned. What does that mean? It, you know, so, first of all, they should acknowledge that there is an... there is a state-sponsored hostage-taking going on in Iran, and Iran has a long history of making money out of this hostage-taking. And if you don't name the problem, you know, it's... it's... you have to analyse the problem. So first of all, you have to see what is it. And I don't get it, why they don't do this. And I think that it's up to us, it's up to us families and activists and everybody who's doing lobby, to... to push them and to put pressure on them. Me, myself, I do a lot of lobby work on this. And, for example, I'm invited next month to the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy in Geneva. And the United Nations are there, a lot of diplomats are going to be there. I'm hopeful that I will get in touch with important people where I can mention all these cases. It's not about... not only about my mom, my mother's, Nahid Taghavi's, case, it's a much bigger issue.

 

Daren Nair  32:57

Since we last spoke, I understand that your mother's lawyer was put in jail as well. Is... is that still the case?

 

Mariam Claren  33:04

That was also something so ironic. And it's only in Iran, where the prisoner and the lawyer are together at the same jail? Yes, he was arrested a few weeks after my mom's verdict. And we are very happy he's now freed on bail, but he's going to face trial. But he's now out, and he's working on my mom's case. Yes. 

 

Daren Nair  33:39

All right. That's good. Now, the last time we spoke, it was around the one-year mark of your mother being held in Iran. And, as you know, campaigning to free a loved one held hostage, wrongfully imprisoned overseas, is a marathon, not a sprint. When I spoke to you last time, I asked you how you are coping, you said, obviously, it's quite stressful. You were smoking a lot more than usual. So it's... it's been five months. How are you coping?

 

Mariam Claren  34:06

Nothing changed. It's sometimes very... you get used to it. You know, it's part of your life. It's... you have your life, and I have a partner, I have a stepson, I have a job, I have to pay bills. I have friends. I have a family. But the campaign to free my mom is part of it. So, it's always very stressful, especially right now, where the nuclear deal talks are going on, and we are all waiting for the results, or when things happen, like when she caught COVID, or when she's not feeling good. You know, every time I talk to her, and I have the feeling she's in... in bad conditions, that breaks my heart. It's really... I... I often said this, and I say it again, only someone who has gone through this knows what it means to be the daughter or husband or mother or wife of someone who is held hostage, because you feel so sorry for the person. And he's someone you love. And she's someone I love. She's not a stranger. You feel sorry. You ask yourself every single day, "did I did enough today to secure her release?" And this is something that is always like a shadow sitting next to me. And asking myself, was this the right decision? What can you do for the next steps? But no, you get used to it. And I'm... I'm always in good spirits. So, I... I don't get depressed or something like this. And I'm full of energy. And I will keep on going until she's back.

 

Daren Nair  35:59

And we will be campaigning right with you until she's home as well. Now, what can journalists and the news media do to help?

 

Mariam Claren  36:08

Covering the cases is the most important thing we can do for this prisoners and for this hostages. And even if I know we are right now in a situation where so many bad things are going on, going on in the world, we're in the middle of a war and the corona pandemic is still ongoing, etc. But covering the cases of the hostages, don't forgetting about them, is so much you can do, media and journalists, can do for them. Because nothing puts more pressure on the governments than when the public opinion change about someone. I think the best example is the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. I think more than three million people have signed her petition. Her husband, Richard, has done so much campaign in this six years, I doubt that there is anybody in England, who does not know the case of Nazanin, and does not put pressure on the government. Of course, she's still not back, but I'm sure that all this effort, all this public coverage will pay off one day. And most of all, people cannot imagine how much this meant to the hostages, to the prisoners, how happy they are. I even read sometimes the articles on the phone for my mom, only to let her know, because she's there in this notorious jail and completely isolated because the TV they watch is the state TV of Iran, the newspapers they get is censored by the state. And I think it's so important to them, for them to know, "you are not alone. We are still going on, and we will fight for your release." And public, the case is to... to keep the cases alive and keep them in public is so important. And I'm asking every journalist, every media, think twice before you reject writing an article, because every single article could help to put pressure on the government and to secure the release of innocent people.

 

Daren Nair  38:44

I absolutely agree with you. Now, what can members of the public do to help bring your mother home?

 

Mariam Claren  38:49

Write your MPs. Ask them to ask the Foreign Office what they did to secure the release of Nahid Taghavi. Sign the petitions. You can find my petition on change.org/nahidtaghavi. Follow me on Twitter, it's @Mariam_Claren. You can always find me under the hashtag #FreeNahid. Retweet, repost, protest, write letters. Don't let both governments go on like this. Because only, and I quote from my friend Richard Ratcliffe, "only when enough people care, someday the right people will care." And it's so important to put pressure.

 

Daren Nair  39:37

Yes, that's a good line from Richard. He was quite proud of that.

 

Mariam Claren  39:42

It's the best line. I love this line. I always quote him in German. And I always say it's a quote from Richard Ratcliffe.

 

Daren Nair  39:47

Yeah, he says, "when enough people care, the right people will care enough." Yeah.

 

Mariam Claren  39:54

Exactly. Exactly.

 

Daren Nair  39:55

So Mariam, we're almost at the end of our interview. Is there anything else you'd like to mention?

 

Mariam Claren  40:00

I want to thank you, Daren, for putting so much time, your private time, as I know, on producing this podcast every week, talking to the families, don't forgetting about us. And I want to thank everybody who's listening to the podcast. I want to encourage you to listen every week. The episodes are very interesting. And if you listen to all of them, you will get an real overview of what is going on in the world. And I want to thank you, and I thank everybody who is supporting us in our fight to free our loved ones. 

 

Daren Nair  40:39

You're very welcome, Mariam. It's an honour to help. I've said this before, and I'll say it again. We'll be right here campaigning by your side until your mother comes home. Thank you for joining us.

 

Mariam Claren  40:49

Thank you. 

 

Daren Nair  40:55

Thank you for listening to this week's episode of Pod Hostage Diplomacy. We're not just a podcast, we're a community. If you're on Twitter and would like to post a message of solidarity to the families or have any questions for us, please tweet it using the hashtag #PodHostageDiplomacy, and we will get back to you. If you like what we're trying to do, please do consider supporting the show financially. You can do this using the support the show link in the description of this podcast episode. We're grateful for any contributions, no matter how small. Thanks again for listening. And we'll be back next week. Take care.