CommentPlus: pick of the papers

The ten must-read pieces from this morning's papers.

1. The coalition's splits are all Tory versus Tory (Times) (£)

The Liam Fox letter reveals just one of the fights between men in blue rosettes, says Fraser Nelson -- and nobody is acting as referee.

2. A tug of war that heralds Britain's farewell to arms (Financial Times)

Philip Stephens suggests that the UK could be looking to abandon world player aspirations -- using the strategic review of defence spending as an excuse.

3. Defence cuts: Foxtrot (Guardian)

£4bn over four years is not an impossible target, says this leading article, but can only be delivered "ruthlessly and without sentiment".

4. David Miliband's defeat isn't tragic (Daily Telegraph)

Peter Oborne argues that calling David Miliband's defeat a tragedy shows how shallow public life has become.

5. Ed, prepare for the fight of your life (Independent)

Ed Miliband is going to face an extremely difficult fight against the vested interests of the super-rich, says Johann Hari.

6. Ed has a theory. Dave just wants to fix the roof (Times) (£)

For Labour, politics is a morality play, says Philip Collins. The Tories just want to solve problems and hard luck if people get hurt.

7. The IMF's foolish praise for austerity (Financial Times)

Martin Wolf contests the IMF's recent announcement on the coalition's Budget -- effective policy would see the UK government increase its deficit.

8. Don't give up on the Celtic Tiger just yet (Independent)

It is possible Ireland will seek support from the EU, but it will probably scramble through, says Hamish McRae.

9. Nigeria: back from the precipice (Guardian)

Fifty years ago, hopes were high for Nigeria's independence, says Ike Okonta. Will they finally be realised?

10. India will cross the line only in its own good time (Financial Times)

Kevan Watts is confident India will overcome its infrastructure woes, despite many challenges to accelerating it's development.

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The government must demand that Iran release Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Iran's imprisonment of my constituent breaches the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

I grew up with a very paranoid mother. She had tragically lost members of her family as a teenager and, as a result, she is extremely fearful when it came to her children. I used to laugh at her growing up – I indulged it but often scoffed at her constant need to hear from us.

A few days ago, I was in Parliament as normal. My husband, his parents and our baby daughter were all in Parliament. This rare occasion had come about due to my mother in law’s birthday – I thought it would be a treat for her to lunch in the Mother of Parliaments!

The division bells rang half way through our meal and I left them to vote, grabbing my phone of the table. “See you in ten minutes!” I told them. I didn’t see them for more than five hours.

The minute the doors bolted and the Deputy Speaker announced that we were indefinitely being kept safe in the chamber, all I could think about was my daughter. In my heart of hearts, I knew she was safe. She was surrounded by people who loved her and would protect her even more ferociously than I ever could.

But try explaining that to a paranoid mother. Those five hours felt like an eternity. In my head, I imagined she was crying for me and that I couldn’t be there for her while the building we were in was under attack. In reality, I later found out she had been happily singing Twinkle Twinkle little star and showing off her latest crawl.

That sense of helplessness and desperate impatience is hard to describe. I counted down the minutes until I could see her, as my imagination ran away with me. In those 5 hours, I started thinking more and more about my constituent Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

Here I was, temporarily locked in the Parliamentary chamber, surrounded by friends and colleagues and door keepers who were doing all they could to keep me safe. I knew I was going to be let out eventually and that I would be reunited with my daughter and husband within hours.

Nazanin has been detained in the notorious Evin prison in Iran for nearly a year. She only gets an occasional supervised visit with her two-year-old daughter Gabriella. She’s missed Christmas with Gabriella, she missed Gabriella’s second birthday and no doubt she will be missing Mother’s Day with Gabriella.

But it’s not just the big occasions, it’s the everyday developments when Gabriella learns a new song, discovers a new story, makes a new friend. Those are the important milestones that my mother never missed with me and the ones I want to make sure I don’t miss with my daughter.

Unfortunately, Nazanin is just one of many examples to choose from. Globally there are more than half a million women in prison serving a sentence following conviction, or are awaiting trial. Many of these women are mothers who have been separated from their children for years.

In 2010, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted the Bangkok Rules - the first international instrument to explicitly address the different needs that female prisoners have. It was also the first instrument to outline safeguards for the children of imprisoned mothers.

The Bangkok Rules apply to all women prisoners throughout all stages of the criminal justice system, including before sentencing and after release. However, Nazanin’s case has seen a wilful flouting of the rules at each and every stage.

Rule 23 states that ‘Disciplinary sanctions for women prisoners shall not include a prohibition of family contact, especially with children’. Tell that to her daughter, Gabriella, who has barely seen her mother for the best part of a year.

Rule 26 adds that women prisoners’ contact with their families shall be facilitated by all reasonable means, especially for those detained in prisons located far from their homes. Tell that to her husband, Richard, who in almost a year has only spoken to his wife via a few calls monitored by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

Iran has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child and supported the Bangkok Rules, yet it is breaching both with its treatment of Nazanin. It is therefore incumbent upon our government to take the formal step of calling for Nazanin's release - it is staggering they have not yet done so.

As I pass the window displays in shops for Mother’s Day, most of the cards have messages centred around ‘making your mother happy’. If there’s one mother I’d like to make happy this year, it’s Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

Tulip Siddiq is Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn