Geologist Jim Fitton, 66, was arrested last month in Baghdad after customs officials found him in possession of pottery fragments taken from an ancient site in southern Iraq. (AP)

August 1, 2022

The husband of a British-Iranian dual national recently released from state captivity in a prison in Tehran helped secure the release of a retired British geologist from an Iraqi prison.

Richard Ratcliffe, the husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was freed from Iran in March, supported the family of Jim Fitton, 66, who was reunited with them on Friday.

Fitton was arrested at Baghdad International Airport in March and charged with smuggling artifacts from an ancient Iraqi site.

His family feared he would face the death penalty and pleaded for his release, but he was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

The family said Ratcliffe provided guidance “when we were lost” throughout the months-long ordeal.

Sam Tasker, Fitton’s son-in-law, said Ratcliffe reached out to support the family when he learned of the situation.

“Richard pretty much experienced every possible facet of these kinds of situations to some extent or another, so it was really useful just to not make the same mistakes,” said Tasker, 27.

He added that Ratcliffe was an influential member of a “little network” that the family relied on for support and guidance.

Arab News

About Track Persia

Track Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.