British woman jailed in Tehran back in court on new charge

Brenda Watkins
May 22, 2018

Mr. Ratcliffe, who has been campaigning for his wife over the past two years, said in the statement that Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been allowed a telephone call with the British ambassador to Iran on Sunday, her first phone call with a British diplomat since her arrest.

"The judge told Nazanin to expect that likely there will be another conviction and sentence against her", he said.

However, she has been allowed for the first time to speak to the British ambassador by...

It said: 'She updated him on her case and situation, and requested that he try to visit. She also asked him to issue a formal diplomatic note protesting against the new charges and invented case against her.

At Saturday's hearing, Zaghari-Ratcliffe appealed to the judge that she be granted temporary freedom to spend time with her daughter, who is turning four in June.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said it would not provide a running commentary on "every twist and turn" in the case. I don't want to go there again.

Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe is one of dozens of dual citizens being held in Iran, several of them from Britain.

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"We urge the UK Government - including the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson - to now significantly escalate their response to Nazanin's plight".

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian dual national who works for the Thomson Reuters Foundation - the media organisation's philanthropic arm - was arrested at Tehran airport in April 2016.

She said in a statement released through the campaign to free her: 'Sometimes when I come back from the visit with Gabriella, after saying goodbye to her, I feel like I can not live without her, I want to go back and hold her.

The British government admits it owes Iran up to £300m, but the countries have wrangled over the precise sum and the interest Tehran wants over the delayed payment.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe is now held in Tehran's Evin Prison, where her requests for periods of temporary release - for which she has been eligible - have been repeatedly denied. Amnesty has designated her a prisoner of conscience targeted exclusively for the peaceful exercise of her rights to freedom of expression and association, and has called on the Iranian authorities to release her immediately and unconditionally.

Downing Street said Mrs May had "raised the issue of consular cases relating to dual nationals now held on charges in Iran" during her call with Mr Rouhani.

"The UK government remains committed to doing everything possible to help secure Miss Zaghari-Ratcliffe's release and alleviate her suffering".

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