UK summons Iran ambassador over case of British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Updated 14 January 2019
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UK summons Iran ambassador over case of British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

LONDON: The UK's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt summoned Iran's ambassador in London over the jailed British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the BBC reported on Monday.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has been jailed in Tehran, is going on hunger strike in protest at her treatment, her employer and her husband said.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 40, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was arrested in April 2016 at a Tehran airport as she headed back to Britain with her daughter after a family visit.

She was sentenced to five years in jail after being convicted of plotting to overthrow Iran's clerical establishment, a charge denied by her family and the Foundation, a charity organisation that operates independently of Thomson Reuters and Reuters News.

"Nazanin called me this morning to confirm from Evin prison that she has started this hunger strike this morning. It is initially a three-day hunger strike," her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, said.

He said Nazanin was taking the action to press demands for access to specialist doctors to address health concerns and to be allowed such treatment as they prescribed.

A spokesman for Iran's judiciary declined to comment, while Britain's foreign office declined to comment on the ambassador's summoning.

Iran has said that the trial and the verdict are in the hands of the judiciary.

Monique Villa, CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, said it was "extremely shocking to see our colleague ... going on hunger strike to protest at her inhumane treatment."

Britain has advised British-Iranian dual nationals against all but essential travel to Iran, tightening its existing travel advice and warning it has only limited powers to support them if detained. 

(With agencies)


Lebanon PM undergoes heart procedure in France

Updated 22 min 17 sec ago
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Lebanon PM undergoes heart procedure in France

  • Hariri’s office said the 48-year-old underwent an hour-long angioplasty procedure
  • Hariri will return to his home in Paris later Monday

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s prime minister underwent a heart procedure in a Paris hospital on Monday and is expected to be discharged later in the day.
Saad Hariri’s office said the 48-year-old underwent an hour-long angioplasty procedure, used to treat blocked arteries. Hariri’s personal physician, Essam Yassin, said the prime minister is well and described the procedure as a “preventive” measure.
He said Hariri will return to his home in Paris later Monday.
Hariri is the youngest head of state in the region, and has been Lebanon’s prime minister for three separate periods since 2009. He is now presiding over his third Cabinet, after being named premier again in February.
His father, Rafik Hariri, a business tycoon who also served as Lebanon’s prime minister, was assassinated in 2005.