British Woman has Conviction Upheld in Iran

A British – Iranian woman has had her conviction for unspecified national security charges upheld in Iran.  She is serving a five year sentence.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 38, appealed against her sentence a few weeks ago.  She is a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, judiciary spokesperson, confirmed her sentence had been upheld.  He was speaking to Tehran on Sunday.

She was found guilty in September and is serving her sentence in the women’s ward of Evin prison.  Most prisoners are held there on political or religious grounds.

She was accused of orchestrating a “soft overthrow” of the Islamic Republic when boarding a flight for the UK.  She was arrested by The Iranian Revolutionary Guards.  Her husband has always denied the charges against her.

String of Arrests

Her arrest is part of a string of arrests of nationals with duel nationalities from western countries over the last few years.  The arrests have cast doubts over the thawing of relations between London and Tehran.

Foreign Office minister for the Middle East, Tobias Ellwood, met with her family in the British embassy in Tehran.  Whether Ellwood had discussed her imprisonment with Iranian officials is unknown.

Her two year old daughter has been placed in the care of her grandparents.  Her daughter was with her when she was arrested.

Following her arrest she was transferred to the southern Iranian city of Kerman and held in an unknown location for weeks before being transferred to the notorious Evin prison.

According to Amnesty International, her arrest is linked to several employees of a technology website who were arrested in 2014 after attending a BBC journalism course, where she worked in 2008-2009.  The BBC is hated by Iran’s government due to its Persian service watched illegally by millions of Iranians.

A petition to release her as gained 850,000 signatures.

A spokesman for the FCO said, “We are aware of reports that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s appeal has been decided and are urgently seeking clarification.”