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Nazanin Zahari-Ratcliffe: British-Iranian aid worker removes ankle monitor but faces new trial date



Zachary-Ratcliffe has been under house arrest for almost a year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Her five-year sentence was due to end on Sunday.

“I’m still trying to figure out what’s going on – but the news is mixed,” Richard Ratcliffe told CNN. Ankle etiquette from the first case was ruled out, but Nazanin was summoned to court next week for the second case. So the games continue. “

Iran’s semi-official Isna news agency quoted Nazanin-Zahari’s lawyer, Hodjat Kermani, as saying that he would be tried on March 14 on her other charge.

UK Foreign Secretary Dominique Raab said he welcomed the news. “We welcome the removal of Nazanin Zahari-Ratcliffe̵

7;s ankle pelvis, but Iran’s continued treatment with it is unbearable,” he tweeted on Sunday. “She should be allowed to return to the UK as soon as possible to reunite with her family.”

On Sunday, British MP Tulip Sidick, who was in contact with Zachary-Ratcliffe’s family, said that Zachary-Ratcliffe’s first trip after removing the ankle tag would be to visit his grandmother.

Nazanin Zachary-Ratcliffe in the photo with his daughter Gabriela.

A Thomson Reuters Foundation employee, Zaghari-Ratcliffe, was detained at Tehran airport in April 2016. She was trying to return home to London after visiting a family with her 22-month-old daughter, Gabriela.

The Iranian government has accused her of working with organizations allegedly trying to overthrow the regime, allegations she and the Thomson Reuters Foundation have consistently denied. She was sentenced to five years in prison.

In September, Iranian state media reported that Zahari-Ratcliffe and her lawyer had been summoned to Clone 15 for new charges, but did not provide further details. It remains unclear what could lead to the new fee or charges.
The British government called the new allegations “unjustified and unacceptable”.

Zahari-Ratcliffe has now been transferred from prison to house arrest during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic in Iran. According to the British government, she was still under house arrest earlier this year.

She received British diplomatic protection in 2019 and was appointed a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International.

In a speech to parliament earlier this year, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the government was “doing everything possible” to secure Zahari-Ratcliffe’s release from “completely unjustified detention in Tehran”.

Iranian state television broadcast an unprecedented video of Nazanin Zahari-Ratcliffe
Johnson was personally involved in the case. In 2017, when he was foreign minister, he was forced to apologize for a serious mistake in which he told a parliamentary committee that Zahari-Ratcliffe taught journalism during her visit to Iran. He later clarified that she was visiting relatives before she was detained.
The comments appear to have led to Zachary-Ratcliffe being summoned to an unscheduled court hearing, at which Johnson’s remarks were cited as evidence that she had been involved in “propaganda against the regime.” A month later, he traveled to Tehran to demand the release of dual nationals detained in Iran.
Zachary Ratcliffe has been on at least three hunger strikes since she was detained, one of them in a desperate attempt to get medical help for lumps in her chest and tingling in her limbs. Last February, her family said they believed she had contracted a coronavirus at Evin Prison near Tehran. In August 2018, Zahari-Ratcliffe was treated in hospital after suffering panic attacks, her husband said. In 2019, her supporters said she had been transferred to a psychiatric ward at a hospital in Tehran and that her father was refused to visit.

Lindsay Isaac and Hande Atay Alam contributed to this report.


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