Iran Daily: Call for British MPs to Intervene Over Imprisonment of Zaghari-Ratcliffe

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Before the imprisonment, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with her husband Richard and daughter Gabriella

Human rights activists have called on British MPs to intervene over Iran’s imprisonment of Anglo-Iranian charity Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

A video appeal by actress and human rights advocate Nazanin Boniadi asks representatives to “put their citizens before politics” by pressing for the immediate release of Zaghari-Ratcliffe, seized as she was returning from a visit to her mother in Tehran in April 2016.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who worked for the charity branch of Thomson Reuters, was given a five-year sentence. The Supreme Court upheld the ruling in April. The Iranian judiciary has recently threatened to raise the sentence to 21 years, with Zaghari-Ratcliffe summoned into new court hearings.

No evidence has ever been produced by prosecutors and the courts for the charges that Zaghari Ratcliffe was involved in propaganda for regime change.

In 2009-2010 Zaghari-Ratcliffe worked for the BBC;s international charitable project Media Action, which includes training for journalists. Last month, trying to justify the prison sentence and its possible extension, Iranian State media broadcast lengthy reports which tried to turn a payslip and an innocuous e-mail into “proof” of Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s guilt.

See Iran Daily, Nov 27: State TV Puts More Pressure on Dual-National Political Prisoners

The Iranian regime has pursued a long-standing campaign against the BBC, which it portrays as part of a “soft war” by Western powers against the Islamic Republic. Staff of BBC Persian have been harassed and intimidated, with their assets seized, their families in Iran interrogated and threatened with detention, and threats of dissemination of damaging claims and photographs about their personal lives.

6 COMMENTS

  1. With whom are Britzie MPs supposed to “intervene” and/or “press”?

    Logically it can only be with the Bounder Boris to finally cough up the 38-year old refund owed by the welshing Westminster régime to Iran, then thereafter to keep his big trap firmly shut while hoping for the best …

    • At least Boris admitted she was involved in a training program for journalists. She is due back in court on December 10.

      • As established, despite your repeated attempts to smear Zaghari-Ratcliffe, Boris Johnson’s statement was incorrect and he retracted it.

        • He wasn’t wrong. She did work in a training program. But he was misunderstood as meaning that she was doing this at the time of her arrest and not for her past work with the BBC.

          • No, he was not misunderstood. He wrongly said she was working as a “foreign journalist” in 2016 when she was seized — an error that is exploited by those (including this commenter) rationalizing the Iranian regime’s) use of her as a political prisoner.

  2. “No evidence has ever been produced by prosecutors and the courts for the charges that Zaghari Ratcliffe was involved in propaganda for regime change.”

    She was actually convicted of spying and trying to overthrow the government, The separate charge of “propaganda against the state” will be brought against her shortly.

    “In 2009-2010 Zaghari-Ratcliffe worked for the BBC;s international charitable project Media Action, which includes training for journalists. Last month, trying to justify the prison sentence and its possible extension, Iranian State media broadcast lengthy reports which tried to turn a payslip and an innocuous e-mail into “proof” of Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s guilt.”

    In 2010, she worked for “BBC World Service Trust” which has since been renamed Media Action. The emails presented on Iranian TV clearly reveal she was involved in a then undisclosed online training program for journalists based inside Iran (in cooperation with BBC Persian).

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