Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe jailed for another year and banned from leaving Iran

The British-Iranian charity worker was first jailed in Iran in 2016.

Undated family handout file photo of British woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been sentenced to a year in prison in Iran after being found guilty of propaganda activities against the Iranian regime, the BBC has reported.

The British-Iranian charity worker, who was first jailed in the country in 2016, has also been given a one year ban on leaving the country.

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She completed a five-year sentence in March in Tehran on spying charges levied by Iranian authorities, the last year of which was spent under house arrest due to the pandemic.

But she returned to court later that month where she was tried on new charges of “propaganda against Iran”, her MP Tulip Siddiq said.

Her lawyer told the BBC that she had been accused of taking part in a demonstration in London 12 years ago and speaking to the BBC Persian Service.

Her husband Richard Ratcliffe told the broadcaster that the court’s decision was “clearly a negotiating tactic” by the Iranian government.

He said she had not been summoned to prison at this point and that her lawyer is planning an appeal.

‘A terrible blow for Nazanin’

In a statement, MP Tulip Siddiq said the new jail sentence was a “terrible blow” for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her family.

She added: “This is a terrible blow for Nazanin and her family, who have been hoping and praying that she would soon be free to come home.

“It is devastating to see Nazanin once against[sic] being abusively used as bargaining chip.

“We’ve been told the Government has been working behind the scenes to secure Nazanin’s release.

“These efforts have clearly failed and we deserve an urgent explanation from minsters about what has happened.”

‘Further prison sentence may cause irreparable damage to her health’

A human rights group supporting Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe said she has never received a fair trial in Iran and a further jail term could cause “irreparable damage” to her health.

Redress director Rupert Skilbeck added: “Nazanin has already suffered severe physical and psychological impacts from the torture and ill-treatment she has been subjected to during the past five years.

“A further sentence to prison or house arrest may cause irreparable damage to her health.

“Nazanin has never received a fair trial in Iran and is innocent of the allegations made against her.

“Her detention has always been illegal under international law.

“The case must be dismissed and she should be allowed to return to her husband and daughter in the UK immediately.”

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