Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe at her parents’ home after temporary release from Evin Prison, Tehran, Iran, March 17, 2020
Iran’s authorities have imposed another 12-month sentence on Anglo-Iranian charity worker and political prisoner Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s lawyer Hojjat Kermani announced on Monday, “Nazanin Zaghari was sentenced to one year in prison and a one-year ban from leaving the country on charges of propaganda against the Islamic Republic.”
The charity worker, an employee of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, completed an initial five-year sentence in March. However, she was prevented from returning to her husband and her six-year-old Gabriella. She was indicted on the new charge, stemming from her participation in a gathering outside Iran’s Embassy in London following the 2009 disputed Presidential election and from an interview which she gave to BBC Persian.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe was seized in April 2016 at Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran as she and Gabriella, then an infant, were leaving Iran after a visit to family. She was sentenced to five years on espionage charges, with on public presentation of the evidence.
State TV documentaries subsequently displayed payslips and e-mails to “prove” Zaghari-Ratcliffe sought the overthrow of the Islamic Republic. The documents were from her work for BBC Media Action, which trains journalists overseas, at the time of the mass protests in Iran over the 2009 Presidential election.
The “evidence” showed no more than that Zaghari-Ratcliffe was an administrator for the program.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe was released on electronic tag in March 2020, amid the first wave of Iran’s Coronavirus pandemic. However, Iranian authorities threatened last September to detain her beyond her five-year sentence with new charges. The UK Foreign Office told Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s lawyers that it has no obligation to assist her.