DUBAI, Oct 16 (Reuters) – An Iranian appeals court has upheld a one-year prison sentence for British-Iranian development worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe for security crimes, her lawyer quoted on an Iranian news website on Saturday.
“The appellate court approved the lower court judgment without a hearing,” attorney Hojjat Kermani told the Emtedad website.
In April, an Iranian court sentenced Zaghari-Ratcliffe to a new prison term for propaganda against the Iranian system of government, just one month after serving a five-year prison term. However, this sentence has not yet started.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was arrested at an airport in Tehran in April 2016 and later convicted of conspiracy to overthrow the clerical establishment.
There was no immediate official response from the Iranian judiciary to the appeal court’s decision.
The von Zaghari-Ratcliffe family and the Foundation deny the allegations. The foundation is a non-profit organization that operates independently of the media company Thomson Reuters and its news subsidiary Reuters.
A British-Iranian aid worker, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, poses for a photo after she was released from house arrest in Tehran, Iran on March 7, 2021. THIRD THIRD THIS PICTURE HAS BEEN PROCESSED BY REUTERS TO IMPROVE ITS QUALITY. AN UNEDIT VERSION HAS BEEN PROVIDED SEPARATELY.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was serving the bulk of her first sentence in Tehran’s Evin Prison, was released and placed under house arrest in March 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic. She was released from house arrest in March 2021, but was summoned to court again on the new charges. Continue reading
UK MP Tulip Siddiq said she spoke to Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband, Richard.
“Nazanin lost her last appeal and her 1 year plus 1 year travel ban is upheld without a trial. She could be returned to jail at any time now,” Siddiq said in a tweet, calling on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to intervene.
The detention of dozens of dual citizens and foreigners has complicated relations between Iran and several European countries, including Germany, France and the UK, all of which are parties to the 2015 Tehran nuclear deal with six world powers.
“Iran’s decision to continue these unfounded charges against Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is a terrifying continuation of the cruel ordeal it is going through,” British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in a statement.
“Instead of threatening to put Nazanin in prison, Iran must release her permanently.”
The court ruled that indirect talks between Iran and the US to revive the nuclear deal stalled after hardline cleric Ebrahim Raisi was elected president.
Dubai Newsroom Additional coverage by Alistair Smout and William James Editing by Frances Kerry
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