Sunday , 26 June 2022

Revolutionary Court Sentences Nazanin to Another Year Behind Bars

Iranwire – British-Iranian hostage Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been sentenced to another year in prison and a one-year travel ban by an Iranian court.

The charity worker’s initial five-year prison term on trumped-up espionage charges ended in March 2021. But the Iranian regime had also charged her with “propaganda against the regime” in November 2017, for which she has now been found guilty by the Revolutionary Court.

Nazanin’s lawyer Hojjat Kermani told Emtedad news website on Monday that in addition to the one-year jail sentence, the mother-of-one has been issued with a one-year ban on leaving the country. She was accused by the court of taking part in a demonstration in London 12 years ago and giving an interview to the BBC’s Persian service.

Nazanin was first arrested in 2016 after travelling to Iran to visit family together with her daughter, who is now back in the United Kingdom. She was held in Evin Prison for most of her five-year sentence before being released into house arrest last March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The fresh verdict against her came amid international negotiations over the US returning to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The Iranian authorities have also signalled Nazanin is being held over a historic £400m debt Britain owes to Iran for a business deal struck before the Islamic Revolution. A three-day UK court hearing over the debt was postponed again last week, for the 11th time since 2013 and to the dismay of families of dual nationals being unjustly held prisoner in Iran.

Confirming the sentence, her husband Richard Ratcliffe told the BBC that the court’s decision was “clearly a negotiating tactic” by the Iranian authorities. He added that Nazanin has not yet been summoned to prison and her lawyer is planning to appeal the sentence.