British-Iranian Aid Worker Gets Another Year In Iran Prison
April 26, 2021
The lawyer of British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe says she has been sentenced to another year in prison in Iran and given a one-year ban on leaving the country, in what London called a "totally inhumane" decision.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe was found guilty of spreading "propaganda against the system" for participating in a 2009 protest in front of the Iranian Embassy in London, the lawyer, Hojjat Kermani, said on April 26.
The charity worker was previously sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted of plotting the overthrow of Iran's government, a charge that she, her supporters, and rights groups deny.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe was moved from prison last year due to the coronavirus crisis and held under house arrest in Tehran until March, when her ankle tag was removed at the end of her five-year sentence.
"This is a totally inhumane and wholly unjustified decision," British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab tweeted on April 26. "We continue to call on Iran to release Nazanin immediately so she can return to her family in the U.K."
Prime Minister Boris Johnson also criticized the ruling, telling reporters that Britain was working with the United States on the issue of jailed dual-nationals in Iran.
A project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, Zaghari-Ratcliffe was detained at Tehran airport after a family visit in 2016.
Prior to her arrest, she lived in London with her husband and daughter.
Iran has arrested dozens of foreign and dual nationals in recent years on espionage charges that they and their governments say are groundless.
Critics say Iran uses such arbitrary detentions as part of hostage diplomacy to extract concessions from Western countries, which Tehran denies.
With reporting by the BBC, Reuters, and AP
Copyright (c) 2021. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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