Jailed aid worker Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband appeals to Iranian minister on UK visit

This file photo shows Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe (R) posing for a photograph with her husband Richard and daughter Gabriella (L). (AFP/Free Nazanin campaign)
Updated 21 February 2018
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Jailed aid worker Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband appeals to Iranian minister on UK visit

LONDON: Richard Ratcliff has made a further appeal for the release of his wife, British-Iranian citizen Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has been imprisoned in Iran since April 2016.
Ratcliff delivered letters of support for his wife, a charity worker serving a five-year prison sentence in Iran, to the Iranian embassy on Wednesday morning. He is hoping they will be seen by Iran’s deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi, who is visiting the UK this week.
“We’re delivering the letters today because of the opportunity of the deputy foreign minister being here,” Ratcliff told the Press Association outside the Iranian embassy in west London.
“He’s here to improve relations between Iran and the UK and we want Nazanin to be right at the front of that.”
He was joined by supporters from Amnesty International, who said they would not rest until her release.
Zaghari-Ratciffe, a project manager for Thomson Reuters Foundation says she was in Iran to visit relatives with her daughter Gabriella, who was 18 months old at the time of her mother’s arrest.
She stands accused of plotting to overthrow the Iranian regime, but many believe her incarceration is a political ploy.
UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson inflamed the situation last year when he told a parliamentary committee that Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been in Iran to train journalists. He later apologized for comments that risked worsening her plight.
Iranian officials recently proposed moving Zaghari-Ratciffe and her daughter, who is currently residing with her grandparents in Iran, to a rented house under armed gaurd. Her husband has refused the offer.
“The family’s view was that this would simply be a different kind of imprisonment, and not an option for Nazanin and Gabriella.”
“We are not about to put Gabriella under armed guard,” he said in a statement.


Iran confirms death of blogger held on security charges

Updated 51 min 53 sec ago
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Iran confirms death of blogger held on security charges

  • “The political prisoner Vahid Sayyadi Nasiri, on hunger strike since October 13, 2018"

DUBAI: Iranian authorities have confirmed the death of a social media activist jailed on security charges, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported on Sunday, after Western rights groups said he had died following a 60-day hunger strike in prison.
“The political prisoner Vahid Sayyadi Nasiri, on hunger strike since October 13, 2018 to protest the denial of his right to counsel and inhumane prison conditions..., has died at the Shahid Beheshti Hospital in Qom,” the US-based Center for Human Rights in Iran said on its website.
ISNA quoted an unidentified source as saying Nasiri had been jailed twice for belonging to a royalist group and planning acts of sabotage including an explosion. He had been taken from prison to a hospital where he died due to a liver disease on Dec. 12, the source said, without referring to a hunger strike.
Mehdi Kaheh, the prosecutor in the city of Qom, earlier said Nasiri had been serving a sentence for “insulting Islamic sanctities” on social media when he fell ill and was taken to hospital where he died, the state broadcaster IRIB reported on its website. Kaheh did not refer to a hunger strike.
Iran, whose officials often warn of efforts by foreign enemies to infiltrate state institutions, has detained scores of journalists and social media activists in recent years, and many others have gone into exile.
In November, Reporters Without Borders said Iran had launched a new crackdown on journalists in which several had been questioned and three arrested in connection with social network posts.
Iran rejects criticism of its human rights record by international human rights bodies as politically motivated and based on a lack of understanding of Islamic laws.