Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe freed temporarily from Iranian prison: Husband

British-Iranian woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was accused of links to mass protests in 2009 and was sentenced her to five years in jail for sedition. (YouTube)
Updated 23 August 2018
0

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe freed temporarily from Iranian prison: Husband

  • Richard Ratcliffe says his wife was released from Evin prison Thursday morning
  • He says Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s lawyer is hopeful the period of release can be extended

LONDON: British-Iranian charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been allowed to leave an Iranian prison for three days, her husband said Thursday.
Richard Ratcliffe says his wife was released from Evin prison and has been reunited in Iran with her 4-year-old daughter Gabriella. He says Zaghari-Ratcliffe's lawyer is hopeful the period of release can be extended.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested during a holiday with her toddler daughter in April 2016. Iranian authorities accused her of plotting against the government. Her family denies this, saying she was in Iran to visit family.
A former employee of the BBC World Service Trust, Zaghari-Ratcliffe was working for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of the news agency.
Former British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was heavily criticized last year after he claimed Zaghari-Ratcliffe was "teaching people journalism" when she was arrested. Although Johnson later corrected himself, Iranian state television highlighted his comments as justification for imprisoning her.
There was no immediate response from Iran's judiciary or its state-run media to her release Thursday.

However, officials rarely comment on such furloughs, especially when they involve people with Western ties.
As recently as May, Zaghari-Ratcliffe learned that she faced a new charge of "spreading propaganda against the regime," her husband said. It remains unclear if that threatened charge remains in play.


New Zealand orders top-level inquiry into mosque massacres

Updated 25 March 2019
0

New Zealand orders top-level inquiry into mosque massacres

  • "One question we need to answer is whether or not we could or should have known more," Ardern said
  • Ardern ruled out New Zealand re-introducing the death penalty for accused gunman Brenton Tarrant

WELLINGTON: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday ordered an independent judicial inquiry into whether police and intelligence services could have prevented the Christchurch mosque attacks on March 15.
Ardern said a royal commission -- the most powerful judicial probe available under New Zealand law -- was needed to find out how a single gunman was able to kill 50 people in an attack that shocked the world.
"It is important that no stone is left unturned to get to how this act of terrorism occurred and how we could have stopped it," she told reporters.
New Zealand's spy agencies have faced criticism in the wake of the attack for concentrating on the threat from Islamic extremism.
Instead, the victims were all Muslims and the massacre was allegedly carried out by a white supremacist fixated on the belief that there was an Islamist plot to "invade" Western countries.
"One question we need to answer is whether or not we could or should have known more," Ardern said.
"New Zealand is not a surveillance state ... but questions need to be answered."
Ardern ruled out New Zealand re-introducing the death penalty for accused gunman Brenton Tarrant, 28, who was arrested minutes after the attack on the mosques and has been charged with murder.
She said details of the royal commission were being finalised, but it would be comprehensive and would report in a timely manner.
It will cover the activities of intelligence services, police, customs, immigration and any other relevant government agencies in the lead-up to the attack.
The gunman livestreamed the attack online, although New Zealand has outlawed the footage as "objectionable content".
Ardern reiterated her believe it should not be aired.
"That video should not be shared. That is harmful content," she said when questioned about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan showing excerpts of the footage at campaign rallies for local elections this month.
Erdogan had angered both Wellington and Canberra with campaign rhetoric about anti-Muslim Australians and New Zealanders being sent back in "coffins" like their grandfathers at Gallipoli, a World War I battle.
New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters travelled to Istanbul to meet Erdogan and address an emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
Peters said OIC members were full of praise for the support New Zealand had offered its small, tight-knit Muslim community in the wake of the killings.
"A number of them were weeping and sobbing at the demonstration (of support) by non-Muslim New Zealand towards the Muslim victims," he told reporters.
"It was dramatic and I was told by countless ministers that they've never seen anything of that type."
The body of an Indian student killed in the Christchurch mosque attacks, meanwhile, was returned Monday to her grieving family in Kochi, where relatives remembered a bright young woman dedicated to her studies.
Ansi Alibava, 25, was the first of at least five Indians shot dead on March 15 to be repatriated.
The family planned to hold a funeral ceremony for the masters student in their nearby hometown of Kodungallur.