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)


US Mideast plan will not include land transfer from Egypt’s Sinai: envoy

Updated 20 April 2019
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US Mideast plan will not include land transfer from Egypt’s Sinai: envoy

JERUSALEM: US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan will not involve giving land from Egypt’s Sinai peninsula to the Palestinians, an American envoy said on Friday.
Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s Middle East envoy, apparently sought to deny reports on social media that the long-awaited plan to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would involve extending Gaza into the northern Sinai along Egypt’s Mediterranean coast.
“Hearing reports our plan includes the concept that we will give a portion of Sinai (which is Egypt’s) to Gaza. False!,” Greenblatt, one of the architects of the proposal, tweeted on Friday.
The American plan is expected to be unveiled once Israel’s newly re-elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu forms a government coalition and after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ends in June.
Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner said on Wednesday the plan would require compromise by all parties, a source familiar with his remarks said.
It is unclear whether the plan will propose outright the creation of a Palestinian state, the Palestinians’ core demand.
The Palestinians have long sought to set up a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, territory Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East War, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The last round of US-brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in 2014.